Triple Frontier Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Pros: Cast; an attempt to show the dark side of a military career Cons: Timing; the filmmakers tackle several topics at once, but do not fully reveal any of them; puncture with the weight of Triple Frontier bags / “Triple Frontier”

Genre Action, Thriller
Directed by J.C. Shandor
Cast: Ben Affleck (Captain Tom “Redfly” Davis), Oscar Isaac (Santigo “Papa” Garcia), Charlie Hunnam (Captain William “Ironhead” Miller), Garrett Hedlund (Ben Miller), Pedro Pascal (Francisco “Catfish” Morales) , Adria Arjona (Yovanna), etc.
Studios Atlas Entertainment, Netflix
Year of release 2019
Site IMDb

Let’s be honest, the first thing that attracts people with the crime thriller Triple Frontier, released on Netflix, is its cast. Ben Affleck (Live by Night, Justice League), Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Ex Machina), Charlie Hunnam (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Sons of Anarchy), Garrett Hedlund (Mudbound, Tron: Legacy) , Pedro Pascal (Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Narcos and the upcoming Star Wars: The Mandalorian). As a bonus, the wonderful Adria Arjona (Pacific Rim Uprising, True Detective) has a small but important role.

So, a group of retired American military personnel with extensive experience in real operations decides to destroy and rob a Colombian drug lord, hiding with his money on a remote estate in the jungle. And although the carefully designed operation goes almost according to plan, then the robbers begin to have serious problems.


Triple Frontier’s plot and narrative structure are typical of similar works dating back to, say, Jack London. In extreme situations, money, and especially big money, drives the strongest people crazy, forcing them to do stupid things. Likewise, in a really bad situation, money, no matter how much you have, will not help you in any way. And although all members of the group led by Santiago and Tom consider themselves good guys who have done and are doing the right things, deep down they themselves doubt it. What they have done in the past and the illegality of the operation in which they take part corrodes the characters and calls into question many years of army friendship.


Triple Frontier is trying to be very serious. Director J.C. Shendor, who is also the film’s screenwriter, tries to raise several important themes at once. The ineffectiveness of current methods of combating drug trafficking. Post-traumatic syndrome in former military personnel who are unable to fit into civilian life. Accepting responsibility for your actions, which in any case will come back to you a hundredfold. But any of the topics that the authors touch on are not even a quarter covered. That is, JC Shendor seems to want to talk to the viewer, but he just doesn’t know what to tell them.


With a two-hour running time, Triple Frontier seems incredibly slow, full of unnecessary scenes. Even a second-by-second operation to expropriate illegally acquired funds seems unusually leisurely and boring. Yes, with realistic shooting in the spirit of “one bullet, one corpse,” systematic and calm, but very slow. And the escape to the sea with the loot could even be presented as several episodes of a leisurely series.


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At the same time, despite all the attempts of the film to be realistic – cleaning the house according to all the rules, distribution of roles, taking into account the different carrying capacity of the helicopter at different heights, the leisurely movement of such a mass of cargo through the mountains, etc., the authors of the film forget about one detail that spoils All. To make life easier for the actors lugging around $200 million worth of bags, the bags themselves are stuffed with foam, so they don’t look real in your hands, don’t act like real ones, don’t fall like real ones… and it’s VERY noticeable.

However, it cannot be said that Triple Frontier is completely weak. The film looks good, the not-so-late actors do their best and look quite natural in their characters. It’s just that the overall protractedness, the predictability of the ending (of course, there is a basis for a sequel), the secondary nature and general toothlessness spoil the whole impression. You can watch Triple Frontier once, especially if you have a Netflix subscription. But you are unlikely to remember this film, say, in a year.


A heist movie that tries to be more than that

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