TRIPLE FRONTIER

"Flawed Thriller"

NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

Summary:

TRIPLE FRONTIER tells the story of five former US special forces operatives whose loyalties are tested when they reunite to steal a drug lord's fortune and unleash a chain of unintended consequences. There’s an epic scale to TRIPLE FRONTIER that’s engaging, but it has a strong pagan worldview with lots of foul language and bloody violence, mitigated by some light moral elements.

Review:

TRIPLE FRONTIER tells the story of five former US special forces operatives whose loyalties are tested when they reunite to steal a drug lord’s fortune and unleash a chain of unintended consequences. There’s an epic scale to TRIPLE FRONTIER that’s engaging, but it has a strong pagan worldview with abundant foul language and lots of bloody violence, mitigated by some light moral elements.

The movie opens on the leader of the former soldiers, Santiago “Pope” Garcia (Oscar Isaac), who’s now operating as a mercenary in South America. When he learns a vicious drug cartel kingpin has many millions of dollars stashed in cash in his compound, he pays visits to his former team members Tom “Redfly” Davis (Ben Affleck), William “Ironhead” Miller (Charlie Hunnam) and Ben Miller (Garrett Hedlund) to convince them to steal the treasure.

Their rationale is that, despite spending their best decades heroically doing America’s most dangerous military missions, they are still financially struggling. Considering the money belongs to an evil drug lord, they’re nervous about being safe but also eager to try Santiago’s daring heist.

Santiago has an inside source, a woman who lives inside the compound and notifies him that the drug lord leaves for certain only once weekly, to attend an early morning Catholic Mass on Sundays with his children. Knowing that no youngsters risk getting harmed if they strike at that time, the protagonists make their elaborate break-in on a Sunday morning.

They have to kill a few guards, but soon the leads find far more money than they ever expected, hidden in a highly unexpected place. Greed kicks in with some of them, as they waste valuable getaway time stuffing bag after bag with cash.

As they flee on foot and in jeeps before trying to fly out of the country with their illicit bounty, things start to go tragically wrong. However, they remain loyal to each other until the bitter end.

TRIPLE FRONTIER is an expertly made, though tonally dark, action film where it’s hard to fully root for the “heroes” because they’re so embittered and are committing crimes, no matter how noble their excuse. While all the actors are solid, Isaac is outstanding as the ringleader, displaying both charisma as he recruits his friends and the fear of losing them forever when things turn really deadly.

Director JC Chandor (MARGIN CALL, ALL IS LOST) has crafted a string of independent, smart films about men in dangerous dilemmas, and he surpasses himself here with an epic scale approach to a well-acted drama about honor among thieves that resembles a present-day TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE. Isaac is particularly outstanding among the solid cast, with Ben Affleck taking a key supporting role instead of his usual movie-star turn.

The action is expertly done, tensions are high throughout, and the twists come flying fast enough to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Netflix is definitely able to compete against any major studio placing its high-budget fare in theatres.

TRIPLE FRONTIER has major flaws on the morality front, as our “heroes” are trying to steal from a drug lord. That might make it more noble in their eyes, but it’s definitely a moral cloud hanging over this movie. Also, providing for their families is one of the things motivating them, not just greed.

There’s abundant foul language in TRIPLE FRONTIER, along with lots of bloody violence. So, extreme caution is advised.

Content:

(PaPa, B, C, LLL, VVV, A, DD, MM):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong pagan worldview about five former American Special Forces soldiers whose loyalties are tested when they reunite to steal a drug lord's fortune and unleash a chain of unintended consequences (the soldiers are bitter over their financial situations after putting their lives at risk for America), mitigated by some light moral elements, including loyalty to each other and loyalty to their families, plus some Christian references

Foul Language:
At least 102 obscenities and 15 strong profanities

Violence:
Lots of graphic gun violence and bloody images (particularly of bleeding bodies), a major battle between the DEA and drug dealers results in several men shot in the head with bloody results, a big explosion kills several men and leaves some severed limbs on the floor, several cartel soldiers are executed by police officers, a drug dealer executes several innocent people with bags over their heads in a tennis court, a man is shot in the head, and there are several close ups of the wound and his bloody body, former Special Forces operatives who are supposed to be heroes rob a drug lord’s house and choke and execute several men during the process, one man shot in the rib with blood seen flowing from his wound for the rest of the movie, one man is wounded from a gunshot and asks the shooter to please kill him, and he does so willingly

Sex:
No sexual content

Nudity:
No nudity

Alcohol Use:
Brief alcohol use in one scene

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking but the protagonists are stealing drug money; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
The Special Forces soldiers believe they’re entitled to steal from a drug lord because his money is illicit, and they’re bitter at how little money they made working for the American government, but it is also clear they are loyal to each other, they help a wounded member make it out of the danger zone and to safety no matter what, and it’s their concern for providing for their families that drives them, not just simple greed.

In Brief:

TRIPLE FRONTIER tells the story of five former US special forces operatives whose loyalties are tested when they reunite to steal a drug lord's fortune and unleash a chain of unintended consequences. The men find more money than they expected, hidden in a highly unexpected place. Greed kicks in with some of them, and they waste valuable getaway time stuffing bag after bag with cash. As they flee on foot and in jeeps before trying to fly out of the country with their illicit bounty, things start to go tragically wrong. However, they remain loyal to each other until the bitter end.

There’s an epic scale to TRIPLE FRONTIER that’s engaging. It’s a well-acted thriller about honor among thieves that resembles a present-day TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE. Oscar Isaac is particularly outstanding among the solid cast. The action is expertly done, tensions are high, and the twists come flying fast enough to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. However, TRIPLE FRONTIER has a strong pagan worldview with abundant foul language and bloody violence, mitigated by some light moral elements.

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