Director: Ben Affleck
Genre: Drama/ Crime/ Thriller
Runtime: 125 minutes
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, John Hamm, Blake Lively, Pete Postlethwaite, Chris Cooper
Description: As he plans his next job, a longtime thief (Ben Affleck) tries to balance his feelings for a bank manager (Rebecca Hall) connected to one of his earlier heists, as well as the FBI agent (John Hamm) looking to bring him and his crew down.
Review: Since his directorial debut “Gone Baby Gone” everyone agrees that Ben Affleck is a better director than actor. The crime thriller, based on a book by Dennis Lehane, showed us he had a sense of timing and he knew what he wanted his actors to do. Wisely he let other actors do the work on camera. For his second film “The Town” he decided to give himself the lead role. Again the movie is based on a crime thriller, this time written by Chuck Hogan. “The Town” is definitely a good story and film, but sadly there isn’t the depth that “Gone Baby Gone” did have.
The story is set in Charlestown, a neighborhood in Boston. It’s a criminal town. Doug MacRay leads a gang of masked robbers, who often strike in the better parts of the neighborhood. During a bank heist, Doug’s aggressive partner Jem decides to take the bank manager hostage. They find out that the woman, Claire, lives in their neighborhood and to make sure she doesn’t tell on them, Doug accidentally meets her in a laundromat. Claire obviously doesn’t know Doug and the two go out. Doug also starts doubting his life as a criminal.
With “The Town”, Ben Affleck proofs again he is an excellent director. It’s a good crime thriller and it’s definitely worth watching. But a deeper layer is missing. There are scenes with more depth, like when Doug visits his father in jail, the introduction of the drug lord, played by Pete Postlethwaite and the FBI agent played by Jon Hamm. Off course, people love seeing car chases and flying bullets, but the lack of depth makes this movie not as good as it could have been.
The acting is great. Pete Postlethwaite and Chris Cooper only have small roles, but manage to impress in the few scenes they have. Jeremy Renner is the one to watch, because his character is very interesting and his performance strong. Rebecca Hall and Blake Lively are good as well. Jon Hamm’s character hardly has an interesting thing to do, he was underused. And Ben Affleck is overshadowed by most of the actors. His character is interesting, his acting mediocre.
“The Town” is a solid thriller, but don’t expect too much depth. Ben Affleck should keep on directing, but maybe with someone else in the lead. (In “Argo” it didn’t work that great either)
Rating: 3/ 5