johnlink ranks THE TOWN (2010)

I’d heard a lot of good things about this film, and was very curious to see it. I seem to be on a bit of a thriller and suspense kick lately, so this seemed like a logical choice to bump from the list. Plus, I’m always down for Affleck returning to Boston.

I watched THE TOWN (2010) on 12.9.11. It was my first viewing of the film.

There is no denying that Ben Affleck is going to be a major player in the next couple of decades of cinema. While he had a series of stumbles as an actor after he found fame (GIGLI anyone?), THE TOWN is an absolute statement.

Perhaps it is not elite in any one area. I’ve seen heist movies with more imagination, dramas with better acting, Boston films with better ambiance. However, this is a film which is better than the sum total of its parts. It hits the right notes, doesn’t feel false (even when it feels formulaic), and leaves an impression.

Two relationships drive this film. Affleck and Jeremy Renner’s bank robbing buddies represent the past. Affleck and his new flame (and previous hostage) Rebecca Hall represent the future. By the end, one of these things is eliminated, as it becomes apparent is¬†necessary. The drive of this story is, of course, which it will be. If I have a problem with the film, it is that the choice isn’t made by Affleck’s Doug MacRay, it happens to him. He tries to make a choice, but he can never pull the trigger (so to speak). Perhaps a choice is made, subtly, in the film’s final battle. But it isn’t a strong one. It’s an obvious one. (Sorry if this is all ambiguous, but to talk on it in specifics would be to ruin the film).

I very much enjoy Affleck in Boston. He feels comfortable filming it, talking it, living it. He wears it like an old coat. There is dialogue and shot selection straight from GOOD WILL HUNTING, and watching THE TOWN makes me hope Affleck and Damon make it back home one day (though I wouldn’t want them playing the same characters from GOOD WILL HUNTING, that would be silly).

Ultimately, THE TOWN is a very solid entry in the bank robbing genre. This is a better film then the previously ranked INSIDE MAN, but it is not as tight. As a result, THE TOWN feels more lived in. More genuine. Certainly, some days you are in the mood for pure entertainment, and some days you are in the mood for a little something more. THE TOWN, while absolutely not CITIZEN KANE, is a little something more.





~ by johnlink00 on December 9, 2011.

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