Triple Frontier

With weapons, hatred and violence

Film. A dream cast for the director who keeps proving he’s essential to the American cinema. A master stroke for the VOD platform!


By Perrine Quennesson

What a pedigree! In ten years, and before finally coming out on Netflix, Triple Frontier’s script went through the hands of Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker, Detroit), Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp and even Mark Wahlberg. Even though the first ones are co-producers, and even co-writer for the second, it’s finally J.C Chandor who ended up behind the camera. He’s the one who is in charge of  directing leadiing actors: Oscar Isaac (Star Wars, Annihilation), Ben Affleck (Batman VS Superman, Argo), Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim, Papillon), Garrett Hedlund (Tron, Billy Lynn) and Pedro Pascal (Narcos).

When Ocean’s Eleven meets Sorcerer

The Famous Five embodies a group of former soldiers affected by military service and let down by their country. While they try to re-integrate society the best they can, one of them suggests an idea: apprehending a drug baron and stealing his money  in order to provide for themsleves in their elderly years. The old friendship resurfaces, their risk-takings tendencies too and the perspective of a better future ends up convincing the team who gets on board for Brazil.

But the ones who are used to Chandor’s style know they have to beware of what his films look like. The director is having fun distorting codes so as to question the worst quirks of his native country, the USA. And after the anti-Wall Street Margin Call, the intimate and almost abstract disaster film All is Lost and the fake gangster movie A Most Violent Year, the director distorts the robery film in order to make a lampoon of American greed. This lure of profit is made to serve the US’ interests, even though its pretendsit is a great defender of peace and uses this idea to multiply its operations abroad. Imperialism without borders which, in the end, leads to more troubles than real progress for the country “helped”. Even for the USA itself.

Because our five war heroes, once they turned away from patriotism and were given up like post-modern Rambo, turn out to be bitter, selfish, dangerous and dehumanized characters. Divided in two, Triple Frontier surprises an audience seeking fights or stories like Narcos, quickly giving up on its beginning of action film about cartels. It’s not what it’s interested in. After a fascinating first part of presentation followed by a tense robbery, there is a chaotic and laborious trip to come back for more than an hour. Closer to Stations of the Cross than a walk down the Champs Elysées, our great soldiers are going to pay the price of their arrogance and pay their debts.

A sort of moral tale, Triple Frontier skims through its Sout-American context but still it is a fascinating and initiatory “Ocean’s Eleven meeting Sorcerer“.