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Triple Frontier: New trailer for Netflix heist film dials up tension

Netflix would like you to know that it's serious about competing with the box office.

The streamer released another trailer this morning for Triple Frontier, an action-packed military heist thriller with an A-list cast that includes Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal.  The spot was posted to the Netflix YouTube Channel.

Triple Frontier has had a long road to the small screen. Multiple actors have entered and exited the project over the last few years, with the likes of Channing Tatum, Mark Wahlberg, Tom Hardy, and Mahershala Ali attached at various points during its production. Affleck was also rumored to be bowing out of the flick at one point, and it's been unclear at times whether a wide theatrical release was in the cards.

Netflix seems like a good landing place for the film, with the streamer recently reporting ginormous numbers for the viral horror hit Bird Box, proving that genre fare featuring established stars which may have had a tough time distinguishing itself among theatrical competition can thrive to the point of going viral when viewers are given the option to check it out in the comfort of their homes. The streamer reported that Bird Box — a moody, violent, post-apocalyptic thriller starring Sandra Bullock, in case you currently live under a rock — was viewed by no fewer than 45 million accounts during its first week, and a quick-paced shoot 'em up like Triple Frontier looks to stand a good chance of at least partially replicating that success.

The flick is helmed by J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year), who worked from a screenplay co-written by Oscar winner Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty). In addition to its formidable cast, it sports an interesting premise, as revealed by its official synopsis: "A group of former Special Forces operatives reunite to plan a heist in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America. For the first time in their prestigious careers, these unsung heroes undertake this dangerous mission for self instead of country. But when events take an unexpected turn and threaten to spiral out of control, their skills, their loyalties and their morals are pushed to a breaking point in an epic battle for survival." (via Collider)

The trailer opens with the five principals sharing a drink, reminiscing over the work they've put in on behalf of Uncle Sam over the years. Isaac's character, however, seems to have come down with a touch of disillusionment, as we hear him lament in voiceover, "Everything we've done for the last 17 years, trying to make a difference… and we never took a dime." We see that the team indeed had plenty of chances to do so, and it turns out that disillusionment is a condition which can spread pretty quickly.

"You've been shot five times for your country, and you can't afford to send your kids to college," the narration continues — but then, a shady opportunity comes knocking. Isaac is seen recruiting Pascal and Hunnam's characters for a dangerous mission: looting the home of a South American drug lord, which is reputed to house "over $75 million dollars in cash." Affleck's character makes the consequences of their decision to go through with the caper clear: "You cannot go back to your normal life after tonight," he tells the team. "You guys need to own the fact that what we are about to do is criminal."

We then get a series of quick shots of the heist in progress, which appears to be going smoothly at first — until the unexpected appearance of a phalanx of the drug lord's guards throws a wrench into their plans. Faced with the option of making their getaway with only a fraction of the loot they had planned or sticking around to fight it out for the whole enchilada, they choose the latter — a choice which will inevitably result in a whole lot of bloodshed, which Pascal's character protests is "not what [he] signed up for." Of course, we often get more than we signed up for, especially when we are characters in a tense heist thriller.

The trailer's conclusion suggests that Isaac's character may not exactly have been truthful about the ramifications of his plan, that the parties tasked with tracking down and eliminating the team will expand far beyond one group of hired thugs, and that the group's escape plan will go from "piece of cake" to "insanely risky" in no time flat.

Triple Frontier looks quite involving, and there's no denying that it sports an absolutely fantastic cast. Whether it blows up the streamer Bird Box-style remains to be seen, but we don't have long to wait to find out; the flick drops on Netflix on March 13.