Reviews & Previews - The Town

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 06:00 PM

The Town

By: S. Tran

Starring: Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm
Directed by: Ben Affleck
Running Time: 125
Rated: R

The Really Wrong Side of the Tracks

Affleck directs and stars in this working class heist drama that entertains you without offering anything new to the genre. It is a satisfying movie because of the good performances and action but probably does not require you to make a trip to the theatre to see it.

The town referred to in the title is Charlestown, an area of Boston that, according to the film, has produced more bank robbers than any place in the United States. In a voice-over Affleck tells the audience that in Charlestown robbing banks is like a fmaily business passed down from generation to generation. As if to prove his point the film begins with Affleck as Doug Macray and his gang pulling off a well orchestrated bank robbery, leaving a one teller very shaken as they are forced to take her hostage to ensure their get away.

Doug is the analytical leader of the gang, while James (Renner) is the hothead. In a strange twist, Doug finds himself getting involved with the very same bank teller they had earlier taken hostage. As it the case with all bank robbery movies the lead character always seems to need the innocent good girl, in this case played by Hall.

Doug of course wants to get out of the robbing business because of its obvious dangers and because he sees the effects of the lifestyle on his imprisoned father. Complicating things is a tenacious FBI agent (Hamm) who is every bit as tough as the guys he is chasing. However, getting out of the robbing business is tough in Charlestown and he is forced into one last dangerous job.

The Town is pretty standard as far as action movies go, but Affleck puts in a good performance and the dialogue manages to sound authentic without getting too "wiseguy"-ish. As a director Affleck is also competent and the movie is polished with an artistic does of grittiness. While the action is well done though the love story with Hall doesn't quite feel right. I'm not sure if it was the writing, chemistry or direction but you felt like it was filler.

I wish these kinds of movies would just do away with the love angle and focus on the guns and characters involved in the robberies. Hollywood seems to think that women won't see these kinds of films without that angle or something, but it's become an annoying tic in such films.


2.5 out of 5 stars.

S. Tran also writes at, and


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