Archive for the ‘Town; The’ Category

The Town – review

The Town – viewed 9/18/10

Ben Affleck turned his talents behind the camera in 2007’s Gone Baby Gone, a film about two Boston detectives who investigate a local girls disappearance.  The film garnered high critical reviews and helped with the resurgence of a dying career for Affleck.  He doesn’t stray to far in his follow up The Town.

The film is set in the back drop of Boston area neighborhood Charlestown.  A town in which many generations of men are taught to rob banks and armored cars, the only thing they can seem to do. We are told that it is the capital city for thieves of this nature.  Affleck plays dual roles as director and lead actor playing Doug Macray, a local hockey legend that was signed to the pros but couldn’t control his temper.  He soon become just another local legend after that.  He is backed by his good friend James (Jeremy Renner from The Hurt Locker) the braun of the group.  This was the kid you did not fuck with growing up, because he would have no problem stabbing you on the playground.

The film opens with Affleck and his local crew of misfits robbing a local bank.  The heist is planned out to perfection as the crew gets away with the heist.  The only problem is that they end up taking a bank teller, Claire (Rebecca Hall from Please Give) hostage, which leads to Macray falling for her….yes during the bank robbery…  They take her license and tell her they will be watching her, which of course Macray takes it upon himself to do.

Macray soon begins a relationship with Claire while hiding it from the boys, and also hiding from Claire that he is behind the bank robbery which she is traumatized from.  Enter Jon Hamm (Donald Drapper from Mad Men) as FBI agent Frawley who quickly begins to piece together a string of robberies that the boys have been behind.  This is kind of my problem with the film.  Sticking with one, well planned out job would have been perfect.  If it would been about how they planned this elaborate scheme to do this one job, make money and get the hell out of their lower class lives, I would have loved it.  Instead it turns out that these guys have pulled six jobs in the past couple of years, and no one has caught on until now, and even as the Feds are coming down on them, they proceed to plan more jobs out.  All of sudden these Boston locals become the greatest criminal masterminds the US has ever seen.

The film gets a little ridiculous at times, which really hurts some great character development within the film.  The film begins with the think accent of Boston spread all across the multiple characters.  There’s a lot of great local humor and flavor in the film.  It goes from being about these characters, and their loyalty to each other and their town, to being a high action bank heist movie.  While this shift is highly entertaining, I think this really hurt the film from being one of the best pictures of the year.

The acting is top notch.  Affleck is excellent as the ring-leader of the crew that you can tell has a chip on his shoulder from his NHL hockey dreams.  He’s a good-hearted townie, but you can tell he thinks he’s a little bit better than the rest of the crew, and that plays in important part in the give and take between the characters.  It’s all about this balance of power between all of them. The chemistry between him and Rebecca Hall is really good in the first part of the film also, and I wish they would have continued in that direction as a sort of love story thrown in the midst of this tornado, but instead it when the high-impact action route.

In the end, Affleck continues to impress as both an actor and director.  He is quickly becoming this generations Sylvester Stallone with his series of flops and then comebacks.  You won’t be disappointed in The Town, but you may walk out of the theater feeling like you wanted a little bit more out of it.

Grade: B