Triple Frontier (film)
Official release poster
|Directed by||J. C. Chandor|
|Story by||Mark Boal|
|Edited by||Ron Patane|
Triple Frontier is a 2019 American action-adventure film directed by J. C. Chandor, with a screenplay by Chandor and Mark Boal, from a story by Boal. The film stars Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal as a group of former U.S. Army Delta Force soldiers who reunite to plan a heist job of a South American crime lord.
The film was released by Netflix in select theaters on March 6, 2019, before its worldwide streaming release on March 13, 2019.
Santiago "Pope" Garcia works as a private military adviser in Colombia combating drug crime. During his time there, an informant named Yovanna asks for his help with smuggling her and her brother out of the country in exchange for information on the whereabouts of a drug lord named Lorea. Yovanna informs Pope that Lorea lives in a safe house in the jungle along with all his cash. Pope returns to the States to recruit his old Delta Force friends for one last mission: to seize the money for themselves under the pretense of working for the Colombian government. The crew includes Tom "Redfly" Davis, a realtor; William "Ironhead" Miller, a motivational speaker; his brother Ben Miller, an MMA fighter; and Francisco "Catfish" Morales, a former pilot.
The group, wanting to minimize casualties, devises a plan to move in on the house while Lorea's family is at church. They quietly and non-lethally subdue the guards, but are unable to locate Lorea nor his money. Pope deduces that the money is secretly stashed in the walls, whereby the team begins smashing the walls down and quickly stuffing millions of dollars into duffel bags. They soon realise that there is far more than they expected and hurry to bag as much as possible before Lorea's family and guards return. Redfly becomes consumed by greed and demands the crew continue loading it past the hard out that he set himself. His behavior alarms the men who finally convince him that they are out of time and must leave ASAP. With the money safely loaded in the truck, they make one last sweep for Lorea.
As they continue their search, Lorea ambushes them from a hidden panic room and wounds Ironhead with a bullet to the abdomen before being shot dead by Pope. As the crew tends to Ironhead's wounds, and now several minutes past their getaway time, some guards return. The crew takes them out, torches the house and escapes in the van, driving past Lorea's family returning from church. They meet up with Yovanna and her brother with $250 million in the van, and then rendezvous with an old friend of Ironhead's who provides them with a private Mi-8MTV-1 transport helicopter to reach their getaway boat aiding their escape from South America. From there, they plan to transfer the money to an account in St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda. Catfish is skeptical that the helicopter can hold the weight of all the money at a high altitude as they have to fly over the Andes Mountains in order to make it to the meeting point. Unwilling to leave any of the money behind, Redfly urges Catfish to proceed.
The crew takes off with the money in a net bag attached under the helicopter. After transporting Yovanna into Peru with her brother, Redfly aggressively questions her knowledge of them, knowing she could link them to the robbery. Before leaving, Pope leaves Yovanna and her brother with 2 million dollars and visas to Sydney, Australia, urging them to leave South America as soon as possible to avoid being caught and killed by the cartel. As the group takes off, an unsatisfied Redfly claims that Yovanna was lying to him but Pope talks him down. Redfly insinuates that they should have killed her, prompting Ironhead to convince Redfly that doing so would lead to circumstances he would not recover from. Fixated on the money, Redfly becomes more and more willing to break his own rules and do whatever is necessary to escape with the money.
As planned, the crew begin flying over the Andes Mountains. Just as they are about to crest the final peak, one of the helicopter's gearboxes blows due to the excessive net bag weight, causing the helicopter to enter a rapid descent. Catfish urges the team to release the money bag immediately via manual override if they want to live. The group survives the crash landing and exits the wreck with minor injuries and quickly moves into action. Redfly and Pope attempt to retrieve the ditched money bag from the cocaine farm on which it crash-landed and is now being rummaged through by farmers and villagers. The wounded Ironhead stays by the crash site while Catfish and Ben take up recon positions in the bushes. The attempt to retrieve the money peacefully fails as the farmers mistake the group for DEA agents and become hostile after spotting Ben, Catfish and Ironhead. One of the farmers pulls out a knife causing Redfly to quickly draw his pistol and shoot him and several others, prompting the other villagers to back away from the stolen cache.
While Catfish, Ironhead, and Ben prepare a group of mules to transport the money, Pope and Redfly compensate the village elder with over 1 million dollars for the mules and for the families of the men they truly hadn't intended to kill. After reaching an agreement, they continue their voyage to the meeting point, accidentally losing a mule and millions of dollars along the way, causing tempers to flare amongst the team. The crew eventually set the remaining mules free once the terrain becomes too treacherous. When they reach the top of the mountain and make their way down, a firefight takes place with two villagers who had been tracking them, seeking to avenge the deaths of their families. Redfly takes one of them out before being shot in the head by a second villager, killing him instantly. Pope kills the second shooter and the crew mourns Redfly's death. After Ben and Ironhead scuffle, Pope urges the team to keep moving, stating that both they and Redfly's family deserve the money at this point. They proceed towards the ocean with their haul and Redfly's body.
Ben scouts ahead and reports that their getaway boat is still waiting for them though the village is filled with armed teens waiting for their arrival. While Pope initially argues that they "go through" the armed teens, the others vehemently disagree. They have come to realize they have sacrificed everything they believe in for the money, including their integrity. Pope becomes remorseful of his desire to kill the teenagers and takes it back. Knowing they cannot sneak all the money through the town, they toss the money into a ravine, keeping only what they can carry in their own backpacks. They attempt to quietly make their way through the town to the boat carrying Redfly's body but are discovered and a car chase ensues. Pope hesitates to kill any more people, instead deciding to shoot at the tires of their pursuers, causing their vehicles to flip over into the sand dunes. The team makes it to safety in the boat with just over five million dollars and Redfly's body.
The team flies to St. John's to meet the lawyer who will be overseeing the disbursement of the funds from the offshore account. The guilt-ridden Ironhead decides to give his share to Redfly's family trust, which is repeated by Ben, Catfish and Pope, albeit somewhat reluctantly. The men say their goodbyes and split up with Pope planning to head to Sydney to reunite with Yovanna. Before leaving, Ironhead hands Pope a piece of paper on which is scribbled the coordinates to the money that was dumped into the ravine for a potential future recovery mission.
- Ben Affleck as Tom "Redfly" Davis
- Oscar Isaac as Santiago "Pope" Garcia
- Charlie Hunnam as William "Ironhead" Miller
- Garrett Hedlund as Ben "Benny" Miller
- Pedro Pascal as Francisco "Catfish" Morales
- Adria Arjona as Yovanna
In October 2010, Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp entered talks to join the cast of the film, to be directed by Kathryn Bigelow from a screenplay by Mark Boal with shooting set to commence in early 2011. In November 2010, Hanks officially was cast. Production lagged, and, in June 2015, it was announced that J. C. Chandor was in talks to direct the film for Paramount Pictures, while Bigelow left because she wanted to focus on her film about Bowe Bergdahl (ultimately dropped in favor of Detroit). Both Hanks and Will Smith were in talks for the lead roles. The film, alternately titled Sleeping Dogs, would be produced by Roven and Alex Gartner through Atlas Entertainment. In September 2015, Chandor officially signed on to helm the film. On January 20, 2016, it was reported that Depp was again in early talks to star in the film, while Hanks' attachment was yet to be confirmed, and Smith had left due to scheduling conflicts filming Collateral Beauty.
In January 2017, it was reported that Channing Tatum and Tom Hardy were in talks to join the film, with Depp and Hanks no longer up for roles. In February 2017, Mahershala Ali joined the cast, with Tatum and Hardy also officially signed on. On April 12, 2017, a month before shooting was set to commence, it was reported that Triple Frontier had been dropped by Paramount, and Tatum and Hardy no longer would be a part of the cast, while Ali and Adria Arjona were still attached to star.
On May 1, 2017, it was reported that Netflix was in negotiations to acquire the rights to the film with Ben Affleck and Casey Affleck in negotiations for the roles Hardy and Tatum vacated, with Ali and Arjona remaining on the project. Ben Affleck exited the film in early July 2017, due to personal reasons. On July 26, 2017, it was reported that Mark Wahlberg was in talks to join the film in the role Affleck vacated, along with Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal, with Arjona still attached to the project. Principal production was set to commence in August 2017, in Hawaii and Colombia.
On March 19, 2018, it was announced that Triple Frontier would commence principal production on March 26, 2018, in Oahu, Hawaii. Ben Affleck had signed back on to star, cast with Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, Pedro Pascal, and Adria Arjona. Ali had been forced to drop out of the project when production was delayed.
The film had its world premiere in New York City on March 3, 2019. It was released in select theaters on March 6, before its worldwide Netflix release a week later on March 13. On April 16, 2019, Netflix announced that the film had been viewed by over 52 million viewers on its service within its first month of release. On July 5, 2019, Netflix announced that the film had been viewed by over 63 million viewers since its release on the service.
On the review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 72% based on 121 reviews, with an average rating of 6.41/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "An outstanding cast and ambitious story help Triple Frontier overcome an uneven narrative—and elevate the end result above a crowded field of grim and gritty heist thrillers." Rotten Tomatoes also ranked it No. 4 on its list of "The Best Action Movies of 2019". On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 61 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
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