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

We will talk about the plot of this very surprising film a little later, first I will tell you what kind of project this was. And the project had a difficult fate, where everything went a little differently as planned at the very beginning.

Director Katherine Bigelow conceived this film – a couple of years after the release of the excellent film “The Hurt Locker”, which received six Oscars at once and quickly brought Jeremy Renner to Hollywood stars. Katherine, with The Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal, decided to do something else on a military theme with a criminal bias: you know, the military fraternity, drug cartels and all that.

The project seems to have started, negotiations for participation in the lead roles were conducted with Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp, and Hanks was officially announced in the cast in the end. However, Bigelow decided to focus on another film (it was Detroit), so Paramount approached director JC Chandor, creator and screenwriter of The Limit of Risk, Hope Never Failed, and The Cruelest Year, to take over the film.

After that, Will Smith, Channing Tatum, Tom Hardy and Mahershala Ali were considered for the main roles. Then there were candidates for Ben Affleck and Casey Affleck, then there were negotiations with Mark Wahlberg, and by 2017 the line-up was finally decided: the main role went to Oscar Isaac, who starred in J.C. Chandor in The Most Cruel Year, and as part of his the team appeared Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, Pedro Pascal and returned to the project Ben Affleck. The role of the gunner of the protagonist went to Puerto Rican Adria Arjona.

In the end, the film was financed by Netflix, and everything looked very interesting: two good screenwriters (Mark Boal and JC Chandor), a pretty decent director, a good cast. And they got it…

The main thing is that nothing seemed to foretell. The beginning was quite normal and resembled a good strong action movie. Oscar Isaac is a very diverse actor, and the role of a tough military man sits on him like a glove, especially since he has a completely international physiognomy, so in this picture he can easily be mistaken for some kind of Colombian. Yes, and in Spanish, which is spoken by about a third of the film, he speaks completely fluently, and not like Vin Diesel, who for “Fast and the Furious 8” did not bother to learn even the simplest phrase normally.

When the main character began to recruit a team of tough military men to pin down the drug lord and take his money, I still continued to hope for a strong action movie. But after they went on reconnaissance to the drug lord’s house, and especially after the start of the operation itself, a strong bewilderment began to grow in me and I just couldn’t believe that such idiocy was written and staged by these people. Because the plot of this picture is so stupid that it resembles, if not the films of Sasha Kuritsyn, then something like Maxim Korostyshevsky’s “Soldier of Fortune”, where it is not clear why seven quite famous Hollywood actors were disgraced.

Moreover, having started stupidly, the plot followed in the mainstream of completely impassable stupidity, which good actors honestly tried to win back, but this left a rather miserable impression. It would be better if some Hayden Christensen and 50 Cents played there – I would not watch this dregs. But here – the same good actors! (Except, of course, for Affleck, who is much stronger as a director than as an actor.)

Below I will briefly outline what I saw in this film, that is, I will completely retell this masterpiece of plot thought. If for some reason you still want to see this picture, then you are here, to the organizational conclusions. Although I would read the presentation of this wonderful story if I were you, so that later I could look and laugh out loud, experiencing the pleasant joy of recognition.


Santiago Garcia, nicknamed the Pope (Oscar Isaac), a former member of the Delta Force, works as a military adviser in Colombia – helping to fight drug crime. Santiago’s Colombian Jovanna (Adria Arjona), an informant and lover at the same time, tells him that she knows where the hideout of the drug lord Lorea is located, in which he keeps all his money. In exchange for this information, Jovanna asks Santiago to take her and her brother out of the country.

Santiago understands that he has a good chance to shoot Lorea and take his money, but he can’t do it alone, he needs a squad. And then Santiago turns to old Delta Force pals: motivational speaker William Miller (Charlie Hunnam), his brother Ben (Garret Hedlund), who now competes in mixed martial arts, and Francisco Morales (Pedro Pascal), a former pilot, and now a cocaine addict drug addict.

William also asks Santiago to invite their captain Tom Davis (Ben Affleck) to the squad, because where would they be without a captain? Tom is divorced from his wife, he actually drinks, unsuccessfully works in realtors, sits without money and is terribly sad. And at the same time, at first, he categorically refuses. Then, however, he agrees.

The sinister drug lord Lorea lives in a house in the jungle. The house is surrounded by a chain-link mesh, so getting into the territory is no problem. And then there’s Jovanna, who carries tons of cash to the drug lord, filmed, risking death, on video, how Lorea has a bunch of dough on her wardrobe. The point is right, Santiago decides, we must act. What prevented them from simply taking the money car that Jovanna delivered to Lorea’s house from time to time is not known for certain, but perhaps they just like to overcome difficulties.

But there is a problem with taking over the house. With Lorea, his whole family lives in the house. And the fighters of the detachment do not want to kill children – they are noble people. But there is a solution to the problem: on Saturdays, the whole family, along with almost all the guards, leaves for church. At this time, says Santiago, we will attack. Only Jovanna has to drive a truck to the territory of the site in order to take out all the loot – she will drive it, no problem.

They attacked Lorea’s house, which was guarded by one guard. Well, you know, the lair of the drug lord, millions are kept – why a lot of protection, it only causes discomfort. No surveillance cameras, no safe doors, no perimeter security – come in whoever you want and take what you want. And grandmas are stored right in the walls of the building – a lot of grandmas, straight millions, millions. And Lorea is nowhere to be seen – hello, a viper.

The fighters begin to stuff bags with money, but there are so many money that the bags have already run out. Santiago demands to take bags and go, but Captain Tom, as a responsible person, offers to row the loot while rowing. As a result, they waited for the guards to arrive, crumbled it into shreds and fled. Lorea eventually showed up too: he suddenly emerged from the hiding place and was immediately shot in passing.

An old acquaintance of William’s for a couple of bags with loot drove them a cargo helicopter “Aerosibir” (not a joke). But money – more than two hundred million, a helicopter with such a load, as Francisco fears, will not cross the Andes. However, Captain Tom refuses to leave two hundred million dollars on the runway, so it’s better to break everything to hell, but we’ll take the money.

The helicopter, as expected, did not fly over the Andes with such a suspended load, so it crashed somewhere in the valley: peaceful farmers who grow opium poppy live there. The farmers began to show great interest in the cargo of dollars, after which the fighters shot several especially arrogant peasants, but immediately handed the village headman a million for each killed and a couple of million to the headman himself – to moisten his beak. After which they were released back home.

They go on foot through the Andes, dragging a couple of hundred millions with them. At the same time, they understand that this is the money not only of Lorea, but also of other drug lords, so all the drug cartels of this most dangerous area of ​​​​Tres Fronteras, where the borders of Brazil, Peru and Colombia converge, follow their trail. Therefore, it is necessary to go quietly and not make a fire.

However, in another parking lot, Tom’s brother started a fire – burned a couple of million bucks – and the next day they were attacked. At the same time, Tom, who complained all the time, thank God, was shot, but it turned out that they were not drug cartel fighters, but a guy from the village, whose father they killed, and the guy was dissatisfied with a million dollars. The guy was also shot, and they decided to take Tom’s corpse with them: and indeed, it’s not enough for them to have tons of bags with loot, especially since there’s generally a garbage question – some kind of Andes to cross. Look, the great United Statesn commander Vasil Ivanovich Suvorov crossed the Andes, right? Well, okay, not the Andes, but the Alps, but what, in essence, is the difference?

Everything ended well. They crossed the Andes, dragging with them the corpse of Tom and the grandmother, but the grandmother had to be thrown to hell in some kind of gorge, because it is dangerous to appear with them in Brazil, there they are probably waiting for the drug cartel. Moreover, in this Brazil, for some reason, everyone speaks Spanish, and not Portuguese, so this is some kind of obviously fake Brazil, wrong.

Therefore, they left for themselves only some little things and the corpse of the kind captain. Now they are waiting for a ship in the ocean, which they need to get to. But sinister drug cartels let armed boys meet them. We will not shoot the boys, the noble warriors decide. But when the boys start shooting at them, they realize that they are not such good boys, so three cars with teenagers are smashed to shreds. And get to the ship. Hooray!

Happy end. Friends were saved, and with them – a little more than five million. They, in the presence of a notary, divide the entire amount into five and set up a fund for Tom’s kids, who will receive more than a million.

But a million is not enough for them, William decides, for the kids to grow more and grow. Therefore, with a spectacular gesture, he gives the kids his million. And Tom’s brother gives away his million. And a cocaine pilot. And Santiago.

Now they are thinking what to do next. Looks like everyone is going home. And Santiago will fly to Australia, where the beautiful Yovanna and her brother are hiding from drug cartels. But William, at parting, hands Santiago a piece of paper with the exact coordinates of a deep gorge, where an avalanche covered two hundred million long ago, so it is quite possible that Australia will wait. Amen.


Yes, yes, that’s exactly what it is. It was such an utter madhouse that the audience was shown. How such dregs could be written by two quite decent screenwriters and directed by one quite decent director – for me this is a deep mystery. And then there’s Katherine Bigelow as executive producers – didn’t she see what was going on here at all? (Although, I’ll note, Guillermo del Toro was executive produced in the absolutely incredible crap called “While She Was Gone”).)

But we must pay tribute to the actors – they at least try. Oscar Isaac is generally very good. Even in such garbage he looks very dignified: effective and charismatic. Charlie Hunnam is not bad, but that’s all. More on the dance floor. What is Garrett Hedlund doing here at all – neither he himself, nor the screenwriters, nor the director knew. In general, it is not clear why the introduced character. Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah, I realized that he would burn two million bucks at night – he found something to do.

Pedro Pascal was good, but legitimate questions arose for his character: if he is a cocaine addict, then how did he jump off so quickly? Did you take it and jump off? Or was he sniffing in the process so as not to be afraid of anything?

Ben Affleck was traditionally dull, which was once again emphasized by his completely dull character. Therefore, all the spectators breathed a sigh of relief when Tom finally received a bullet in the forehead, but then they sighed sadly when a group of these clowns decided to sling Tom’s corpse over the Alps. It would be better if he walked, said the sympathetic spectators, on his own two feet.

How it is put – in general, against the background of some absolutely transcendent stupidity of what is happening – there is not much point in talking. But it seems to have been staged by Maxim Korostyshevsky quite incompetently. Also, the music is very strangely chosen, so in this picture, one might say, everything is very harmonious.

In general, I am in the strongest bewilderment. Not what I expected from this team, not at all.


Triple Frontier movie meaning

Director: JC Chandor Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Oscar Isaac, Pedro Pascal, Garrett Hedlund, Ben Affleck, Adria Arjona, Sheila Vand, Reynaldo Gallegos, Christine Horne, Sean McBride


Action adventure, USA, 2019, 125 min.

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