Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The Town

The Town 

Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone (Highly Recommended) really showed the actor’s potential as a director. His acting career has, lets say.........., been relatively rubbish in the politest of terms. With films such as Pearl Harbour and Gigli under his belt, it isn’t hard to see why Affleck might want to improve his career image, through his directing. The Town keeps his directing career intact and proves Gone Baby Gone wasn’t a fluke. It also ends up being his best acting performance (but that’s not really hard). The plot follows the story of four professional bank robbers and lifelong friends in Boston: Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck), James Coughlin (Jeremy Rainer), Albert Magloan (George Carroll Jr) and Desmond Elden (Owen Burke). After a risky bank robbery, Doug must make sure that the female bank manager, Claire Keesey (played by Rebecca Hall) , doesn’t know who the robbers were. He meets her and the two eventually build a strong romantic  relationship. This alongside the constant harassing by the FBI results in Doug wanting to leave the gang and start over. Yet, James and their mysterious ‘boss’, Fergus Colm, still want Doug to do one more job. 
For those who have seen Michael Mann’s fantastic Heat, this film will feel very familiar. Substitute Al Pacino for Jon Hamm, who plays Special Agent Adam Frawley, and change Robert De Niro for Ben Affleck, and you’ve got similar stories and similar scenes. The Town has the structural split between following the criminals and the cops, and the relationship story as Heat did. Even the final robbery of Fenway Park, has a resemblance to Heat’s bank robbery scene. However this, by all means, isn’t a bad thing, Heat was an amazing film, and The Town is brilliant. The film’s direction is fantastic and the script is great. The car chases and shootouts really have a realism and grittiness to them, with the sound being immersive and gripping. 
The acting is great, with no actor leaving a bad impression. As already mentioned Affleck’s performance, is probably his best. Rebecca Hall’s performance, whilst being good is overshadowed by Blake Lively’s, who plays a drug mule and single mother. It certainly is a massive step away from her Gossip Girl typecast, and hopefully will gain her credibility as a true actress, in the future. Jeremy Rainer, who was nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role, is intimidating and unnerving and plays the sadist and brutal character very well. The late Pete Postlethwaite, who hasn’t masses of screen time, plays his character well. He comes across very calm whilst being serious and threatening. This being his ‘last completed’ film, it was a great performance. 
The Town is a superb film which hasn’t gained the critical reception and widespread recognition it deserves. The acting is fantastic, the dialogue is well-written, and it is very well-directed by Affleck. While Michael Mann’s Heat will be compared to the film, is that really a bad thing? One of 2010s best films. 

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree with you here, nicely done. I just added my Best of the Year for 2010 (belatedly, I know) and I had no difficulty including The Town.

    I was just thumbing through your archives and wanted to say I like your taste. Welcome to LAMB... You've got a new follower! :-)