Cinematic Releases: The Root of All Evil Is Greed: Triple Frontier (2019) Reviewed

After a spate of pre-production turmoil that included Kathryn Bigelow vacating the directorial chair, Netflix unleashes a tension laced military style action film on the world and it's simply amazing. Set in the unrelenting exteriors of South America, the first great action/crime/thriller of 2019 is hitting cinemas this week and streams on Netflix beginning March 13th. 

Triple Frontier is easily one of the best action films that Netflix has released to date with a massive production budget and a solid dynamic that's a hybrid of classic heist thriller mixed with cutting edge military dramatics that kept me churning in my seat the entire time. This is a whip smart feature film that doesn't play nice. It's cold. It's brutal. And it often times vacates human life with little or no notice. Written by Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker) this one has many of the same markers but trades procedure for criminal underpinnings. 

We're here to tell you our movie is awesome. Fight us. 

Starring a cast of top shelf actors, this is exactly where the world's largest original content provider needs to be. This one hits, then keeps on hitting over and over again with gritty gun play sequences, perfected story points, and just enough character development to keep things interesting. All five protagonists (if you can call them that) are given small details that help us sympathize with their personal struggles, their connection to each other, and why they need to team up one more time. 

Pulling together some of the most well known modern actors, this J.C. Chandor (Margin Call, A Most Violent Year, and All is Lost) directorial effort never lets up as the story continues down a winding path that's fueled by a charismatic brotherhood, undying greed, bloodshed and the bare necessities of human survival. Skip tracing from a hidden drug lair to the maze of the jungle to the vastness of the Andes, Chandor sets the stage for a nearly perfected bit of modern warfare that's all about personal gain instead of political purposes. If anything, Triple Frontier proves that the root of all evil is greed. 

Using Oscar Isaac to his fullest potential, all the leads here follow suit with undeniable realism that will hit close to home. Striking so many current notes about the financial struggles to survive in a world that's geared towards stripping us of our dignity one bit at a time, Triple Frontier is a hyper realistic saga that pits a crew of former special ops teammates against their own personal demons, a gun toting cartel, and an environment which not only promises certain doom, it revels in it. With bullets and friendship being their only ally, the formula of Affleck, Isaac, Hunnam, Pascal, and Hedlund is a palpable one that's truly unique and non-formulaic. 

A couple months ago he would have been called Bat-Mule, but no more.
Now you're just mule.  Straight mule. 

Considering how great most of the movie is, there are some bumps along the weary road. The length of the film is a bit challenging at times and seems to drag on. And a side story that involves a potential love interest for Isaac serves the purpose of moving the story along but ultimately drags away from the central focus. Instead of spending so much time on her character, they could have sidestepped much of her bit in the story. Yet, these are minor gripes that could be thrown at nearly any film. Set against most of this year's early releases, Triple Frontier leads the pack in many ways. 

If it's showing in a theater near you, see it that way. This is one that's meant to be seen on a massive screen with stunning sound and visuals. The vastness of the mountain scenery and jungle shots truly deserve the cinematic experience. Much like last year's Netflix release of Annihilation, the beauty of the maze like forests and the variance in landscapes almost requires a theatrical viewing. I cannot recommend this movie enough. And people in our theater seemed enthralled by this one.  

If you have a chance, get yourself to the cineplex. Triple Frontier will be on Netflix but its worth paying the extra few bucks for the theater.