The Town (2010)
There was something about The Town that made it work, no it wasn’t the story, the acting or the cinematography, it was the soul of the characters as corny as that may sound. It’s the same tale that has been shown many times in criminal dramas – the bad boy who wants to get out. There is absolutely nothing unique in the story but you can watch it and enjoy it on its own merit due to the realness of the characters in play. It was Heat, Super Fly and The Bank Job all rolled into one with a Boston accent. It is the re-emergence of Ben Affleck as an actor and now Director. In a word The Town has become one of my favorite gangster movies of the modern age.
Plot (Minor Spoilers)
Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) is an ex professional Hockey player and street punk turned gangster who runs jobs along with his adopted brother James Coughlin(Jeremy Renner) and their crew of professionals for a man named Fergie (Pete Postlethwaite). The jobs these boys run include robbing banks, armored trucks and other forms of robberies. Doug’s team is excellent at what they do and although they show no signs of slipping he dreams of escaping the life to see the sunny skies of Florida. When asked by James to keep an eye on Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) the manager of a bank that he had robbed, Doug gets too close and finds himself in love. In the meantime FBI Agent S.A. Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm) is hot on their tracks and Doug is faced with a hard decision between brotherhood and escape with his beau.
The Town’s cast feels like real people, Ben Affleck is comfortable in his role as Doug and plays one of the most likable characters that I have seen from him. The dialogue between he and Jeremy Renner are some of the best and his sarcastic bad boy flirting with Rebecca Hall’s Claire was well done. Of all of the character actors I favored Pete Postlethwaite who has made a masterful career of portraying the most colorful people. Fergie does not get many lines but his 3 minutes of dialogue were some of the most venomous and memorable quotes of the movie. Jon Hamm as agent Frawley was also a treat to watch and to be honest the only weak link of the cast (in my opinion) was Krista Coughlin (Blake Lively).
Written and Directed by Ben Affleck, the soul of the gangster lifestyle in his hometown of Boston is brought to life in living color for the length of this movie. It is EXTREMELY violent, to the point where an entire scene seemed like a huge homage to Deniro/Pacino’s Heat. The shoot outs seemed so frighteningly real due to the loud gun shots coupled by people getting battered, bruised and killed. The stunts during the fighting and shooting scenes were rightfully sloppy, the way they should look in reality. Cops ducking and dodging carbine fire were tripping over one another, ducking for dear life and blind firing their asses off. The hopeless scenarios ended the way they should and people you thought would live got killed and vice versa. I say kudos to Affleck for the attention to detail in these scens as they made the movie beyond the acting, music and story.
There are many of you out there who will skip out on The Town for fear of it being another Ben Affleck let-down. Please give it a chance or miss out on one of the best movies of 2010 for execution. Affleck has been dieting, hitting the gym hard and most importantly writing and perfecting this script and it shows. Show him some respect and go out and see The Town, it is as spicy as they come and I highly recommend it.