What if I told you there was a movie starring Batman (Ben Affleck), The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), the dude from Sons of Anarchy (Charlie Hunnam) along with Poe Dameron from the Star Wars movies?
You’d say “Nuh-uh,” and I’d say, “Yeah-huh” and we’d argue about who was drunk until I fired up Netflix and started showing THIS ACTUAL MOVIE THAT EXISTS.
Here is the trailer. Watch it, then we’ll talk smack.
The immediate question is, “Who is that other blonde dude who I sorta recognize?” and the answer is Garrett Hedlund, who played the lead in the TRON remake and is in other motion pictures I will not list right now because you know how to use the googles, if you care that much.
But there is more to talk about, and yes, this will involve spoilery spoilers.
The big issue is, “Did our dream team of ex-special forces experts make nightmarishly stupid mistakes?”
Yes. Yes, they did.
Let’s go into the Top Four Mistakes made by our superteam.
Mistake No. 4: Not splitting up
After they found all the money and took it from the drug cartel boss, they took the cash in a single van.
Then they tried to exit the country in a helicopter, with most of the cash carried in a cargo net dangling beneath. A long list of bad things then happens, based on this single decision, with their pile of cash shrinking each time.
All of the Bad Things could have been avoided if they split up, right away. Have each team member take their share of the cash and go in different directions, alone or in pairs, by sea or by train. Whatever.
Mistake No. 3: Not hiding the money
Hey, what’s in all those bags hanging underneath the helicopter flying low and under the radar? Any farmer, police officers, soldier, or drug cartel member who saw their chopper would not think “Basmati rice” or “every known VHS tape of The Star Wars Christmas Special.” They would hear that helicopter from far away, then see it, then notice all the bags, and think “scads of drugs” or “mountains of cash.”
And word would spread, like it did, making it hard for the team to escape.
The first rule of heists and capers is simple: Don’t get caught with the loot.
The second rule of heists and capers is: Don’t get caught with the loot.
The third rule of heists and capers is: Hide the loot in multiple places, you ding dong.
Another smart idea is to transfer or hide your precious stolen treasures immediately, so there’s nothing on you that’s incriminating, and the loot is safe even if you get detained, arrested, or thrown in jail for a year. Because when you get out, the first thing you’re doing is safely retrieving ALL THE CASH from a storage unit or whatever, then living a nice life as you sail around the South Pacific in that sweet sailboat Kevin Costner had in WATERWORLD or drink mojitos on a white sand beach with Red and Andy Defrusne.
Mistake No. 2: An exit route over ginormous mountains
Yes, it may have been the shortest route to the sea. However, big helicopters and little airplanes both have trouble getting over towering mountain ranges, especially when carrying too much weight.
This was the Stupid, and also led to many other problems, like crashing the chopper (bad), getting into a shoot-out with local villagers (very bad!), and eventually going over the ginormous mountains by foot (terrible).
If you avoid Mistake No. 3 and hide the money, you can put away the guns and body armor and also avoid Mistake No. 1 (not splitting up) and have folks leave the country by train, plane, car, truck, or whatever. You’re a normal person going home. There will be food and warmth and no need to get into firefights, or freeze your hiney off in the mountains while villagers track you down and KILL BATMAN because he shot their villager father and such.
Mistake No. 1: Not wearing masks
This may seem silly. What a small thing, wearing masks? How could this be the biggest mistake?
Except wearing masks is everything.
How does the drug cartel know to look for them, specifically? Because they left witnesses, being unwilling to kill women and children, the family members of the cartel boss. That’s honorable and good.
HOWEVER: If they wore masks, and stuck to the rest of their plan, there would be no witness description. They did kill the guards and the cartel boss, so nobody would know what their voices sounded like. Plus, it’s pretty hard to tell all your cartel minions with guns to be on the lookout for a guy who sounds like Batman, another guy who sounds like he was on that biker show, plus a dude sorta sounds like The Mandalorian.
Wearing masks means even if the family members got a glimpse as they passed each other on the road, they wouldn’t know who hit them. Was it an inside job? Did another cartel come after them, or police officers? Those would be the first three logical suspects. A superteam of American ex-special forces folks would be last on the list.
Wear masks. Don’t go over stupid deadly mountains in a helicopter. Hide the money, or at least get it out of the country five different ways when the team splits up after the job.
Seems pretty simple, right?
HOWEVER: This isn’t really a traditional caper or heist. It’s almost an anti-war movie, like PLATOON. The closest thing I can think of is the damned excellent Chris Pine-Jeff Bridges bank robbery caper, HELL OR HIGH WATER, with a similarly mixed ending. They successfully pull off the heist. But it comes at a high price, due to hubris.
TRIPLE FRONTIER is actually a cautionary tale of the downfalls of greed and violence. Unlike most action movies, where the heroes blow stuff up and show the glorious thrills of killing bad guys with abandon, this movie is meant to make people question those decisions. Because people do die. Was it really worth it?
Your average action movie doesn’t pause to consider this question at all. Though I’m a giant fan of thrillers and action movies, there comes a point where most of these movies jump the shark on this issue. So many bad guys, zombies, or alien invaders get shot, stabbed, and blown to hell that you lose count. And it loses meaning.
This is why movies like JAWS, ALIEN, and PREDATOR are so memorable. There isn’t a sea of bad guys dying left and right. There is one Very Bad Guy, who seems invincible, and he’s winning until there’s one hero left.
Which means my armchair quarterbacking of the big mistakes made by our superteam isn’t casting aspersions at the screenwriter or director. They totally intended for the characters to make all kinds of mistakes, based on their greed and character flaws. Batman wanted all the monies, despite the fact that it made them spend too much time at the drug cartel house, and that it made the helicopter overweight. So if you really wanted to pin the blame on a single character, he’s most at fault, and he gets punished the worst for his sins, seeing how a villager shoots him in the head from long range as revenge for Batman killing poor villagers who wanted some of the money they found after it fell from the sky. Don’t blame them for that at all.
Back to the verdict: it is the apocalypse, and you have watched Every Possible Thing on the Televisions Already, which means tes, you should fire up the Netflix and watch TRIPLE FRONTIER.
And if you haven’t watched it, do HELL OR HIGH WATER while you’re at it. 11/10 would recommend.