Long gestating project from J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost, Margin Call) reunites him with Oscar Isaac from A Most Violent Year in a heist thriller less concerned with dramatic complexity or characterization.
An across-the-board slickness permeates Triple Frontier referring to the thinly populated multi-boundary area of Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina that is threatened by a drug lord.
So, Isaac’s ambitious military sage Santiago ‘Pope’ Garcia sees an opportunity to make things right in the region which also means a potentially significant windfall. The plan necessitates reuniting with former Special Ops colleagues – Tom ‘Redfly’ Davis (Ben Affleck), William ‘Ironman’ Miller (Charlie Hunnam), Francisco ‘Catfish’ Morales (Pedro Pascal), and Garrett Hedlund’s Ben Miller – to raid the powerful South American’s remote estate.
Of course, an alternate exit strategy must be rigged because when there’s a hitch (the larcenous act is given short shrift) after more with preliminary logistics that has ramifications when working outside the public sector, besides implacable slaughterers in the way of a problematic plunder.
Patriotic Ironman has served as an instructor for serviceman back as a civilian but is put in a compromising situation when buddies like Redfly and Catfish are not coping well either as psychological and financial factors can prove divisive within this tough, if struggling quintet. Chandor allows the actors (like Affleck as the hesitant, if zealous head patrolman for Pope) to acquit themselves well enough under the umbrella of how Mark Boal’s script empathizes with how veterans aren’t really assisted that much upon completion of duty. But the writer’s background would indicate that he might have more edgy intrigue up his sleeve to accommodate and connect some decent set pieces as the lensing for example provides topographical vitality in and around the Andes.
Given the overall lackluster examination a viable commentary on the deregulation of war is evident though a more muscular representation may have proven more resistant with intended helmswoman Kathryn Bigelow and stars like Mark Wahlberg and Tom Hardy on board. And, a finely shaded Frontier could have been a triple threat with Boal honing deeper with perspective and poignant introspection. Even if the sentient studio executives thought it warranted a brief theatrical run before being discovered at home.