Even five years ago, a film like ‘Triple Frontier’ would have been hailed as Netflix gold. However, the release of ‘Roma’ last year on Netflix, coupled with the upcoming releases of ‘The Irishman’ and ‘The Laundromat’ has significantly upped the bar for what is considered the standard for Netflix original film releases, and well, film releases in general. In that, ‘Triple Frontier’ is not ground-breaking material, but as far as entertainment is concerned, Netflix’s latest knocks it out of the park with a bloodied steel club; it is that gritty, so much so that I would have happily paid to watch the film in a good cinema.
Its troubled production history is also known to the world by now. The film that was earlier set to be directed by Kathryn Bigelow with Johnny Depp and Tom Hanks signed to star (that would have been something to see!) stayed in development hell with the casting hat shifting between the two stars followed by Tom Hardy, Channing Tatum and then Mahershala Ali, until the project was finally revived by Netflix and it landed upon the current cast, to be directed by J.C. Chandor, retaining only writer Mark Boal from the original crew. Now that it is out, was it worth all the hype and time? I’d say, in a way yes, because the final outcome is an exhilarating action film in parts and a taut atmospheric crime drama in others. Think of it as the ‘A-Team’ in the first bits meeting ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ with a hint of ‘Narcos’ and finally ending as any action survival flick would. Final verdict reserved for the end of the article, we now delve deeper into the film that ‘Triple Frontier’ is.
Plot Summary and Ending
The plot follows five special forces operatives: Ben Affleck as Tom “Redfly” Davis, Oscar Isaac as Santiago “Pope” Garcia, Charlie Hunnam as William “Ironhead” Miller, Garrett Hedlund as Ben Miller and Pedro Pascal as Francisco “Catfish” Morales, each adept in a different skill set and with a shared history of working together. Santiago is the only one in action of the five, still serving under the forces, hunting down narco criminals and hot in the pursuit of Gabriel Martin Lorea, a South American drug lord.
After obtaining a tip off from one of Lorea’s men he downs in an operation and learning that he was stashing close to $75 million in cash in a safehouse, he decides to go after him and starts assembling his former team. Ironhead now delivers positive pep talks to graduating army personnel, while his brother Benny takes part in brutal MMA fights. Catfish, who is also a remarkable pilot is now under review for flying a shipment of cocaine and the last of the lot, the hardest to persuade, Redfly is living the simple American life working as a realtor for a company, a job he barely seems to take any interest in. He is divorced from his wife and carries the responsibility of his two daughters, their bills and education as well. Upon Pope’s persuasion and attempts to get the team together for a recon mission of Lorea’s safehouse, Catfish and Benny give in almost instantly, while Ironhead agrees to be in only if Redfly is. Redfly too eventually gives in only for the recon mission, evidently for the cash, but a look beneath the layers would reveal that he agreed because he actually missed the action.
The five conduct a recon of Lorea’s house and are almost immediately convinced by Pope to be a part of the mission, hit Lorea’s house, and take the money for themselves, after he tells them that serving the nation for twenty years led them to their present condition, and the money could actually improve their lives. The five agree to conduct the hit on a Sunday when the family is out for church, and Lorea stays back with minimal guards for the money. The hit goes almost as planned and the five are easily able to breach the grounds, except that they discover a lot more than $75 million in cash, stashed in the drywall construction of the house.