Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Town

Just got back from director/actor Ben Affleck's new movie, The Town. It's a character driven action thriller, half like the Michael Mann flick, Heat. The other half, well it's Boston, It's gotta be Good Will Hunting. I'm pretty impressed with Mr. Affleck and his directing abilities. I still haven't seen his directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone from a few years ago. But I can see why studios may be lining up to give him a job behind the camera as much as in front. He handles the double duty pretty well as he shows us the seedy side of Boston, yet again. I would say that the crime diseased Southie crowd has been portrayed to almost excess over the last few years. Here they are again, but, even though the situation is similar the road is a little different and that is certainly a high point for the film.
Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) and his crew of bank robbers, Jem Coughlin (Jeremy Renner), Albert (Slaine) and Desmond (Owen Burke) hit a bank and take the pretty Manager, Claire (Rebecca Hall) hostage. Once they let her go, they worry that she might have seen one of them, which causes Doug to meet her without the mask. Like all good drama, he falls for her and finds himself in a pickle on whether to do another job or not. Especially when they have a tough as nails Fed Sam Frawley (Jon Hamm) nipping at their heels.
I really liked the film, the pacing the writing everything. Sure there were fairly generic touches dealing with trying to get out of the crime life, but you still got sucked into it anyway. You found yourself rooting for Doug and hoping that he gets away. They really pulled out the stops to make Frawley pretty unlikable, although you understand why he's such a bastard, Hamm plays it to perfection. I also really enjoyed Blake Lively's turn as a skanked up ex-girlfriend of Doug's. She really took that good girl image and flushed it down the toilet, in a good way. She also played her character pretty unlikable, but it works. You understand even more why Doug wants to get the hell out of town, he's being dragged down by everyone. I liked seeing Chris Cooper as Doug's jailbird Dad, but he's only in one scene for like 5 minutes. It would have been great to have seen some extended scenes with him. Overall I really dug the movie but I had a few problems with the end. I won't give it away but it tries to have a happy ending which just didn't sit that well with me. I just don't think you can have a happy ending after all that transpires but, there is some redemption in there to make all that joyfulness a bit more palatable. But it just felt like they weren't sure how to end it and it's kind of a drag. I also enjoyed watching the kinetic Jeremy Renner play the psychotic Jem, he does at times feel a little 2 dimensional, but Renner really elevates the character to a place he really shouldn't exist in.
It's a good flick and I recommend it highly. So after you've seen Let Me In (Not a shameless plug, honest it's a great movie) go and check out the Town. It's doing pretty well still at the theatre so you should have some time to squeeze in some Vampire kids and a Facebook movie before.

Grade: 3 Buckets

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