So I saw the The Town tonight on my computer. It was pretty much what I expected – some good action scenes, lots of Hs instead of Rs in the dialogue and way too many Red Sox and Bruins jackets.
Now I have long held the stance that Ben Affleck’s career will never go higher than his performance in Good Will Hunting. I loved him in that movie. In real life he’s a dick, but in GWH he did a great job. But this was definitely second to that. His character isn’t the deepest in the world – bank robber, born and raised in Charlestown, Boston, the ‘bank robber’ capital of America, and he has a soft side. My favorite performance in the movie was Jeremy Renner who is Affleck’s best friend and pseudo-brother. He is the same as Affleck, except he doesn’t have that soft side, due to nine years in the local prison. He does a great job portraying a real dark character, but someone who has their loyalties to the people in his life, and expects some in return. Ironically, he’s a darker version of Affleck’s character from Good Will Hunting.
The writing sometimes gets a bit too Boston-y and cheesy, but they didn’t try to do too much. They let the action scenes, the brief romances and the culture of the neighborhood lead the movie.
Pete Postlethwaite (what a last name) does a great job as the local mob boss who sets up Affleck’s robberies. Rebecca Hall is alright as Affleck’s love interest – is crying most of the movie. Jon Hamm is pretty nondescript as the FBI officer hunting Affleck down – the one scene where he shows a little edge and character, he is shaking down Renner’s sister for information. Blake Lively is Renner’s sister and Affleck’s old-time girlfriend, and she fulfills her role as skanky hot girl, who is dismissed by the men but plays a pivotal role later on.
Overall, it was a fun watch. The movie works because they didn’t try to make it in to too much of a romance, or a social statement. The strengths are the action scenes and the elaborate, Ocean’s 11-esque robberies, but mostly it’s the culture and feeling of the neighborhood. They made that the focus of the movie and for that, I guess you have to thank Affleck. Even if I am talking to myself out loud in a Boston accent for the rest of the night.
In My Totally Random Grading System I Just Made Up: B+