Saturday 10 February 2024

Movie Review: Triple Frontier (2019)

Genre: Action  
Director: J.C. Chandor  
Starring: Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund, Charlie Hunnam  
Running Time: 125 minutes  

Synopsis: American military advisor Santiago "Pope" Garcia" (Oscar Isaac) provides his services to government forces in Colombia. He learns through an informer that drug lord Lorea is living in a jungle hideout with a massive stash of money. Pope recruits former military colleagues, including Tom "Redfly" Davies (Ben Affleck) and brothers William and Ben Miller (Charlie Hunnam and Garrett Hedlund), for an audacious mission to invade Lorea's fortress and steal the money.

What Works Well: Director J.C. Chandor and his co-writer Mark Boal cover the basics well, with a straightforward story, good action staging and editing, high production values, a variety of scenic settings, and plenty of local colour. The second half carries echoes of no less than The Old Man And The Sea, the catch of a lifetime tested by an epic masculinity-past-its-prime trek fraught with unforeseen challenges.

What Does Not Work As Well: With character backgrounds kept to a minimum (or skipped altogether), the performances are of the plastic variety. Ben Affleck and Oscar Isaac go through the motions with no sense of conviction, the other squad members are interchangeable, and the antagonist Lorea barely gets any screen time. When the going gets tough, the attempts to convey suffering and moral dilemmas fall flat.

Conclusion: The star power is dimmed by lackadaisical treatment.

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