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Movies for Gun Guys: Triple Frontier

Triple Frontier Overview: A band of ex-military cool guys struggling through different forms of disenfranchisement with living as veterans are simultaneously swindled and tempted by an opportunity to make a small fortune doing something ethically questionable and legally dubious. Twisting the knife of disappointment to get the metaphorical band back together, the team of five goes deep into a foreign country under the gray area of acting as consultants. Their initial plans to merely recon the domicile of their target location lead to what should have been a job well done. Instead of going wrong in the classic Hollywood sense, they choose ambition, realizing that the house of the Narco is both lightly guarded and full of money. They choose to raid the house themselves, ridding the world of a bad guy and taking the money. 

The real problems begin after the raid. What starts as a well-planned operation turns into a bad exfil, plagued by a series of unfortunate events. As they try to flee the country, the helicopter crashes and with each new problem their haul starts to bleed away. Bad situations turn to worse, and as the glory and money fade, their choices turn to survival and escape. 

What We Like: Triple Frontier isn’t one of those movies where guys in the know point at the screen and say, “That’s not how it works.” With a fair play on certain action movie tropes, the film feels self-aware that its place is as a movie. At the same time, the realism sets in from the beginning, starting with the feelings veterans often go through after leaving the military. The sense of having no place in the world, struggling with living after a life of danger and adventure, define the characters from the start, giving deeper context than merely the temptation of becoming overnight millionaires. 

It’s obvious that their plans are going to go sideways, but the way it unfolds turns a tale of tactical fever dream into a character study of inter-team conflict. While it hints at the team turning on each other, it takes a different, but appreciated, route as they stick together, despite their misfortunes. 

Gun Guy Highlights: Although not only about guns, there’s something to appreciate on the micro and macro level. The idea of a bunch of special operations veterans going rogue and hitting a drug lord isn’t anything new, but the execution of a raid mixes between military SOPs and unorthodox methods. The equipment, from rifles to the plate carriers, play a mix-and-match game expected in the clandestine environment, and while their use of controlled pairs do exaggerate the lethality of their firearms, it strays far from the tradition of sending people flying from a single gunshot. Unorthodox and partially consensual, the tragedy of a story where no amount of skill can overcome bad decisions, Triple Frontier deserves a place in the halls of movies for gun guys. 

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Editor's Note: This is a Section of the Article Movies for Gun Guys Published in RECOIL Issue #55.


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