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Have you seen...? Triple Frontier

Words by Rob Chilton

A superb cast of big names including Ben Affleck and Oscar Isaac, star in the taut military heist thriller Triple Frontier, now showing on Netflix

Armed with a superb cast of big names, Triple Frontier is a tense thriller that follows a crack unit of retired elite soldiers on a covert mission to steal a ruthless drug lord’s fortune.

The film begins with a failed raid led by a respected military leader turned private consultant played by Oscar Isaac (Star Wars, A Most Violent Year, Ex Machina).

Oscar Isaac and Ben Affleck plan their next move

Frustrated and eager to nail the villain he’s been chasing for years, Isaac visits four ex-military pals who are struggling with civilian life and offers them a clean and simple private job while dangling a juicy paycheque at the end of it – $75 million to be split five ways, say the intelligence reports.

After some deliberating and moral questioning, the men – played by Ben Affleck, Pedro Pascal, Garrett Hedlund and Charlie Hunnam – agree to the job and suddenly we’re in the steamy Brazilian rainforest with our guys clutching high-powered rifles and creeping into the drug lord’s house.

Ben Affleck, Oscar Issac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal discuss the job

Written and directed by the tremendously talented J.C. Chandor (Margin Call, All is Lost, A Most Violent Year), the nail-biting action hustles from place to place at a breathless speed – city, jungle, house, van, helicopter, mountain, beach – as what should be a straightforward job hits various snags, building the tension to unbearable levels.

Writer/director J.C. Chandor plots the shot

With lots of hugs and back slaps, the warm bond between the men is clear, but this bonhomie slowly creates a sense of unease as you just know that cracks are bound to appear within the group when the going gets tough – and boy, does it get tough.

Refreshingly there is none of that macho nonsense or bravado that is so often the case when special forces are depicted on screen. Action sequences are understated and slick: one shot – job done. These guys want to complete the mission with no fuss, no explosions and no unnecessary force.

Ben Affleck on the hoof

Throughout the movie the underlying and uncomfortable motif are those huge bags of dollar bills. Having retired from the US military and now feeling pressure at home to provide for their families and pay bills, the men’s motivation is no longer national pride or a sense of duty but money. The audience is rooting for these guys but we watch with anxiety as greed warps their mentality and ultimately their actions.

Charlie Hunnam is starting to get a bad feeling about this mission

How Triple Frontier didn’t get a full cinematic release is perplexing as it’s one of the best movies of 2019. Strap yourself in and give it a look.

Triple Frontier is showing on Netflix now

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