Directing and starring in this thriller, Ben Affleck brings suspense and drama to a whole new level in his film, The Town. After an impressive debut weekend at the box office, I decided to go visit The Town and see how it was for myself. Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Chris Cooper and more present a very intense story line that doesn’t disappoint too much. There’s a reason that this film was number 1 last weekend. While some parts of this film are lacking, the pieces that are put together make it a brotherhood, bank-robbing, bullet-filled, bewildering blockbuster (say that 5x fast!) that shows that Ben Affleck has come a long way since films like Gigli and Mallrats!
Affleck plays Doug MacRay, a local worker in Charlestown who has another secret profession. With his crew of guys, he really robs banks and armored cars for a living….following in the steps of his incarcerated father (played by Chris Cooper). MacRay and his team are very successful in their heists, which draws the attention of the local FBI team led by Special Agent Frawley (Jon Hamm). After a heist involving a hostage takes place, the cat-and-mouse game between Frawley and MacRay’s team begins. It would be easy to skip town, but there’s one kink in the system…haha, it’s always a pretty girl, isn’t it? MacRay sees a possibility at a normal life away from the town, and this is where the majority of the struggle in the movie lies. Who will he be true to? his crew, his father, his profession, his girl, or to himself?? Struggles, in and out, continue for the main character as we follow his story throughout.
Without giving any spoilers, let me tell you that The Town does a great job with the plot, backstories, and character development! I was overly impressed with how Affleck ties everything together. There are some events that do take place without, in my opinion, adequate explanation, forcing the audience to seek for an explanation of the chain of events. Unfortunately, the viewer is left with only imagination and assumptions for certain key pieces of the plot. (I do not wish to ruin any part of this film for those that haven’t seen it. If you truly wish to know or discuss what I felt was missing from the story, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org). It works, for the most part though, for the movie. The two-edged sword of decision to either lengthen a film or depend on the rest of the well-told story to fill in the gaps is something that all filmmakers struggle with. Affleck did it well.
When it comes to casting: I loved the choices…with one exception. Jon Hamm just didn’t do it for me. I could not buy into his leadership or investigative qualities as the ever-pursuant FBI special agent in charge. I’m sorry, Mr. Hamm, but your performance was lacking. Rumors recently surfaced about Hamm as Superman (read Movie News Monday from 9-20-10) and I hope the rumors stay exactly that. He looks the part, but I really think someone else can play the part stronger. Ouch?! too harsh?? Sorry, but I have to call it like I see it. Everyone else did amazing in The Town. And Jeremy Renner….I expect even more great things from him after The Hurt Locker and this flick! I am even more excited now to see him as Hawkeye in The Avengers movie!
As the movie drew to a close I felt that two endings were possible to this flick: the one I was hoping for and the one I expected. I’m not going to tell you which one won, or even which one was which, but I did like the way in which Affleck decided to close this story. Overall, The Town takes you on an adrenaline-pumping, emotion-pulling, action-packed trip that you will not soon forget. Visit The Town today! A great film. Congratulations once again to Ben Affleck: Director, Producer, Screenplay Writer, and Lead Actor.
Thanks for reading!
Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy watching!
–The Sp1der’s Score: 8 out of 10 stars “The Town”
…btw, Affleck stars with another great cast, including Chris Cooper again, in the upcoming movie The Company Men. Check it out here.
up next: “Trailer Time Thursday!!”