Monday, October 18, 2010

The Town

Ben Affleck directs and stars in this gritty drama set in his native Boston, in the city of Charlestown. It's a bleak tale. Doug (Ben Affleck) is a criminal who masterminds bank and security van raids. He is aided and abbeted by his lifelong volatile friend Jimmy (Jeremy Renner) and two other ne're do wells. After a particularly violent bank raid, Doug follows a woman {English import Rebecca Hall)when he becomes concerned about how much she witnessed during the crime. They fall in love, oh dear, no good can come of this. The gang are hounded by the FBI, headed by the man of the moment, John Hamm of Mad Men fame, looking slightly out of step in modern day clothes. So begins a game of cat and mouse. Doug also has the burden of his past, his father is in prison and he is accountable to a florist (nice touch) played by Pete Postlethwaite. It appears he is the equivalent of the Godfather in this notoriously Irish territory. The outlook is dark for all who appear in this movie. Doug desperately wants to get out of his environment. He has the memory of once being a star ice hockey player and is in AA, scraping hopelessly away from the life he was predestined to live.
It's a really great film. Ben Affleck is swiftly becoming a director to be reckoned with, his directorial debut was the incomparable 'Gone baby Gone'. This doesn't quite have the punch that had, but it's close. You find yourself really caring about all the characters. Affleck has an air of calmness and security surrounding him, and Renner alternates malice with an endearing vulnerability. I really enjoyed Rebecca Hall's character, she is real and likeable. Blake Lively plays Ben Affleck's on off ahem, booty call and is shaping up to be one to watch in the future. All in all, it's a really interesting take on an old tale. As the tension mounts, and there's plenty of tension, you find yourself at odds. You know who you should be hoping gets out in one piece, but you find yourself in a moral dilemma. You see, I'd take Ben over Doug Draper any day of the week.
The Town: Wouldn't want any of them as my neighbours, well, maybe one. 8/10

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