• @Stage&Story

Is Netflix's Newest Alpha Male Movie Worth Your Investment? (Minimal SPOILERS)


Last week, my wife was down the hill at rehearsal, so I had the evening...to watch a manflick...while lifting weights. (No, I will not disclose how many pounds they were.)

>> THE FILM OF CHOICE

That night I decided upon Netflix's original film Triple Frontier. Bam! It's currently on Netflix. This film boasts an impressive cast from Ben Affleck to Oscar Isaac to Charlie Hunnman.

IMDB summarizes the plot in this way: "Loyalties are tested when five former special forces operatives reunite to steal a drug lord's fortune, unleashing a chain of unintended consequences."

>> RECOMMENDATION

While the moon turns blood-red and the stars fall out of the sky more often than I recommend a Netflix original movie or show, this Alpha Male, testosterone-fueled action film impressed, entertained, and even provoked me to some worthwhile thoughts.


(Side note: this picture was taken in 2018: the day Netflix released their original re-boot Lost in Space.)

Back to Triple Frontier, while I cannot highly recommend it, I can recommend it with some reservations.

>> RESERVATIONS

On the SVL (sex, language, violence) scale, be warned that it scores pretty high on language and violence. There are some sexual innuendos, but there are no graphic sexual scenes.

This film is rated R, primarily because of the language...and the violence helps too.


Why do I still recommend this film (with reservations)? Overall, the worldview is sound.

I think it's wise to evaluate a film not only by what SVL it contains, but by what worldview it's communicating. Triple Frontier carries a message that I see is consistent with the Christian perspective.

>> NOT WHAT I THOUGHT

At first glance, I guessed Triple Frontier would be in the vein of so many other crime thrillers that are popular these days. I thought it'd be a bent film like the Oceans 11 series of films.

Bent films are characterized by there being no clear distinction between good and evil, or the good guys and the bad guys. In Oceans 11 and its sequels, we're drawn into rooting for the bank robbers for many reasons...including their good looks and wit. In the end, the bank robbers win the day...and if we're honest, we're glad! Another example of a bent story is HBO's The Sopranos or AMC's Breaking Bad.

Without spoiling too much, Triple Frontier is not a bent film, or at least not in the same way the previously mentioned films and shows are.

>> THE WORLDVIEW

This film actually reminded me quite a bit of Leo Tolstoy's short story "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" In this powerful work, Tolstoy offers a vivid picture of what happens when a man lets ambition, greed, and discontentment slosh around in his soul. I've used this short story in my classroom many times.


Now, Triple Frontier is no Tolstoy story, but it shares many of the same themes.

>> IT'S A TROJAN HORSE TOO

All films are Trojan Horses, packing perspectives in them on the world, but not all Trojan Horses deserve to be barred outside the city.

Even though this film is wrapped in some unsavory layers (like language and violence), the worldview hidden in the belly of the horse is one that speaks truth. Triple Frontier offers a cautionary tale for those of us willing to watch and listen.

>> QUALITY?

Overall, I found the writing, acting, and directing to be pretty good. The first act feels a little clunky in the acting and dialogue realm, but once the plot takes a turn, the quality rises with it.

Despite these flaws, the movie held my attention and even startled me a few times (though it was mostly because I was so impressed with how much I could bench press while watching the movie.)

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a critic score of 73 and an audience score of 63, which is decent.