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Triple Frontier

A thinking person's action film with a massive budget, TRIPLE FRONTIER has big ambitions that it nearly reaches.

Five former special ops team members decide to reunite to take down a South American drug lord who's rumored to have a lot of cash in his fortress.

The cast is terrific, with Oscar Issac (Ex Machina) leading the way as idealistic Pope, Ben Affleck as very troubled Tom "Redfly", Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones) as Catfish, Garrett Hedlund (Tron Legacy) as slightly crazy Ben and Charlie Hunnam (The Gentlemen) as impulsive "Ironhead" Bill.

With impressive tech support and planning, the five men infiltrate the Drug Lord's palatial home deep in the jungle.

What they find there and what happens next is unexpected in every way possible, setting up the back half of the film that plays as both an action escape flick and a survival against-all-odds thriller.

It's fascinating to watch these five close friends and bonded warriors realize that you can't go back. The years have worn on them and the world has changed.

Issac, as always, is excellent and Affleck continues to mine the darker side of his personality.

Writer/Director JC Chandor has written and directed a couple of my favorite lower profile films of recent years. "A Most Violent Year" and "Margin Call" were intense, personal thrillers.

He's crafted the same kind of character study here, but surrounded it with a massive budget, huge action scenes and killer photography by Roman Vasyanov (Fury, Suicide Squad).

Some of the conflicts between the men grow a bit predictable, but Chandor never wanders too far off the track, weaving plenty of intelligent perspective into the action.

Having money to burn seems to often spell your downfall in Chandor's films. That point's made all too literally here.

Fast paced and well made, TRIPLE FRONTIER gets your blood pumping and your brain going at the same time. For that, it gets an explosive B.

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