An Important Discussion About ‘Triple Frontier’ And Its Two Big Twists

Editor-at-Large
03.15.19

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There are two big twists in Triple Frontier, Netflix’s new “Ben Affleck and Oscar Isaac and the boys do a heist in the jungle” movie. The first twist is structural, not so much a zig instead of a zag as it is a full-on hard left. The second twist is your more standard plot turn. A thing happens that you probably do not expect. Reader, I gasped. We will get to that soon enough. We’ll get to both twists, actually, because we are about to get way into this. We are going to discuss Triple Frontier, spoilers and helicopter malfunctions and donkey mishaps and all. If you don’t want to see any of that, consider this your last chance to get out.

Or, to quote Ben Affleck in this movie: “Any man here who wants to walk away now can do so knowing they’re the best of us. But it’s gotta be now.”

You’ve been warned. The floor is open.

What are the twists?

Dammit, hold on. I can’t just open by telling you the twists. There’s an art to this, a dance if you will. We need to put down some foundation first. Come on. Work with me here.

Sorry. Do the foundation thing.

Here’s what you need to know: There’s a drug dealer in South America. He’s very powerful and he’s hidden away inside a jungle compound and he allegedly has many millions in cash in there with him. The people who are trying to take it from him are former Special Forces members who are fed up with civilian life and want to get rich while taking out a bad dude.

So these Special Forces guys… are they like your basic heist team members, character quirks and all?

I am pleased to inform you that they are. Let me introduce you to the team.

– Oscar Isaac plays Santiago “Pope” Garcia, the guy who put the whole thing together after seeing how bad the area was while working for a private contractor. His kinda girlfriend/informant is a beautiful woman who delivers cash to the compound and whose brother was recently arrested.

– Ben Affleck plays Tom “Redfly” David, the former leader of their team and a planning mastermind, who is now an unsuccessful realtor and sad divorced dad, which you can tell because he lives in his ex’s garage and drops his daughter off at school while “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac plays.

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– Charlie Hunnam plays William “Ironhead” Miller, who does not have a lot to do in this movie.

– Garrett Hedlund plays Ben Miller, William’s brother, who was not in the Special Forces but who is, of course, a semi-professional cage fighter with a daredevil streak.

– Pedro Pascal plays Francisco “Catfish” Morales, a helicopter pilot whose flying license is suspended because of a cocaine bust, which is really just glossed over in all of this.

These are our heist boys.

Can I ask a question?

Of course.

Is this one of those movies where, like, Oscar Isaac tries to recruit Ben Affleck for the heist but Ben initially says no because “he’s retired”?

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I knew it. Is it a “one last job” movie, too?

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Okay, I think I understand what’s going on here.

See, you think that. This is all Heist Movie 101 at this point. This brings us to twist number one.

The heist itself — the storming of the jungle compound — happens halfway through the movie and goes off with almost no hitch, save some extra security guards getting mowed down and the line “the house is a safe” from earlier in the film proving literal and prophetic when they discover all of the walls are full of cash.

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