5 men go in the jungle for adventure, money, and truth
I prefer to review as much movies as possible before the general public, mostly anything outside of New York and Los Angeles. So, when I received word that “Triple Frontier” would be playing at the IPIC theater in New York, a week before its Netflix release, I just had to check it out.
It’s a crime thriller and an adventure story both rolled in one. While keeping us entertained with its shooting sequences, it offers a certain kind of honesty that “Stand by Me” kept. At its 2-hour duration, it offers patience, and consistency. So, no aspirin is required.
Oscar Isaac plays Santiago Garcia, a former Special Forces operative, whose latest assignment has to do with the capture of a ruthless drug lord named Gabriel Martin Lorea (Reynaldo Gallegos) in South America. He has a house filled with money in the jungles, because he doesn’t trust banks.
Pope reunites with his old crew-Tom (Ben Affleck), William (Charlie Hunnam), Ben (Garrett Hedlund), and Francisco (Pedro Pascal)-to infiltrate Lorea’s House to steal the money as replacement for their neglected benefits.
Lorea has a family and armed guards at his house. A perfect time to infiltrate is on Sunday, when they go to church. When they break in, they grab the money hidden in the walls (“the house is a safe”). They try to get over the mountains with a helicopter, but the altitude and heavy weight forces them to crash land, so they have to carry it by foot through the cold and wet wilderness. That’s how it’s also an adventure movie, but of course for various reasons, en route, they start losing money.
“Triple Frontier” was co-written and directed by J.C. Chandor (best known for “Margin Call,” “All is Lost,” and “A Most Violent Year”) and produced by Mark Boal (also the co-writer), Kathryn Bigelow, and Charles Roven (“American Hustle,” and the “Dark Knight” trilogy). Together, they all take risks at combining genres in one Netflix movie without derailing one another. They focus on one thing at a time, while showing us the risks and consequences of taking money from a wanted man. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose.
You also have some fine work from Affleck, Isaac, Hunnam, Hedlund, and Pascal, mainly because of their chemistry, emotions, and ambitions. They’re placed in one scene after another, where they improvise the situations, make hard decisions. That’s what I admire about a movie of its kind, sort of in the vein of “The Deer Hunter.” Characters who struggle to adapt.
There were times when I felt a little disillusioned (I won’t spoil anything), but I’ve realized there are messages hidden inside the movie. This is a non-stop lark with a fresh cast and a lot of thrills.