Wednesday, March 16, 2011

DVD--The Town

or: Cops and robbers.

One word to sum it up: Nice.

The Town has such a pretty cast. Ben Affleck as an actor and a director is pretty. One of my most favourite actresses Rebecca Hall is pretty. Blake Lively is pretty. Jon Hamm is beyond pretty. And Jeremy Renner, well, what can I say...I become more interested in this man with every role he takes. So they all come together, with the brilliant Pete Postlethwaite (RIP) in another small but scene stealing role, and make a movie about bank robbers with the cops on their tails. Methoughts it would be pretty awesome. Methinks The Town was actually a bloody awesome movie.

One may go into this film expecting a gritty action thriller, and you will get exactly that, but you will also get a nice romance as well. The romantic duo come in the form of Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) and Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall). She is an innocent bank manager who lives in Charlestown, and has just had her bank robbed. He, unbeknownst to her, is a bank robber and the one who robbed her bank. They form an unlikely relationship, which endangers the world he is currently in. His friend and fellow robber, James 'Jem' Coughlin (Jeremy Renner) believes that she might screw things up for his group of robbers and gets increasingly worried about what she told the FBI and that she may be able to identify them. It's not long before Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm), the head of FBI's investigation, has found a link to this group, and they start to realize that death or prison are their only ways out of Charlestown.

This is a story often told: a girl and a guy falling in love even though one half is shrouded in secrecy, a man trying to make a break from his past life and make a new one, and the one last job which changes everything. It's not new material, but there is something about The Town which is really special. I can't quite put my finger on it, but this movie was really well done. Ben Affleck may have had his highs and lows as an actor, but with this, his follow up to the much acclaimed Gone Baby Gone, he shows that he is a very capable writer and director. Almost too capable, if anything. Here he captures the right atmosphere, making a dark surrounding for dark characters all praying for some light, but never quite reaching it because of their surroundings pulling them back in.

As well as being an insightful drama which looks into the lives of criminals effortlessly well, The Town also succeeds at being an action film, too. There are a few great chases and sequences within the film which are done with blockbuster flair. I like how this movie has a deft blend of genres: drama, romance and action. It never gets tired, and is always interesting. From a girly perspective, I really liked the romance in this film, since they weren't trying too hard to capitalize that. It just shows that a romantic story can be good when you don't try too hard. Deep down, though, this is a mans movie, which is okay for the girls, too. Now why wasn't this nominated for more than one Oscar?!

The characters and performances within the film are brilliant. Affleck, who didn't stop at writing and directing duties, is superb in the leading role, but it's really his supporting stars who shine. Hopefully Rebecca Hall will become better known for her role in this: she was amazing (as always) and so sweet, I couldn't help but feel she was a stand out. Jon Hamm, why you so sexy? He was good, too. Blake Lively was beyond great in this. I really never knew how far she'd be able to go as an actress, and she really pushed her limits here. Even though her role was one which could have easily been omitted, she made the most of her opportunity. Pete Postlethwaite, quite frankly, terrified me as Fergie. How is it that he could just steal the show in a few short scenes? He was simply such a great character actor, and really showed that here, in one of his last films. However, the man who scored The Town's only Oscar nomination was Jeremy Renner, who was magnificent here. Following on from his superb nominated performance in last years The Hurt Locker, Renner takes on another character who can't live with out violence. His presence is violent and scary, but there is still enough of a story in the man to make you like him. Let's just hope that Renner keeps up the roll he's been on of late, because I just can't seem to get enough of him.

THE VERDICT: The Town may not have the most original story, but the way it is made and performed is a brilliant example of fine filmmaking. Ben Affleck should just keep writing and directing movies.

What I hoped for:

What I got:


  1. I liked this one, not as much as Gone Baby Gone but still it was a good film.
    I suppose it could have done with a bit more originality. But the performances were great, particularly Renner, he's a very good actor and the fact that he's born the same day as me just makes me like him more ;)

    Great review!

  2. Renner is born on the same day as you? Lucky! I have like, no famous people with the same birthday as me :(

    It's a pretty awesome movie, I thought!


You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


Related Posts with Thumbnails