February 16, 2011

The Town Hits Home

Ben Affleck… during the early turn of the millennium and the 90’s, he has become the butt of every joke about bad acting and frankly a sad disappointment. But as we laugh and make fun, Ben was perfecting his skills and has evolved into a respectable and invested storyteller; directing one of my favorite films “Gone Baby Gone” in 2007.

Ben’s sophomore directorial, “The Town” is back in Boston following a group of childhood friends turned notorious bank robbers. Lead by Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) and his trigger-happy best friend James Coughlin (Jeremy Renner) they meticulously plan heists to perfection hitting a number of armored cars. They quickly gain confidence and rob a large bank; mistakes are made and they are forced to take a hostage. Bank Manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) is blind folded by hostile men and left tied up alone on the shoreline. Despite heist complications MacRay and his crew believe they’ve escaped without a trace until its brought to their attention that the FBI has found their hostage and is on a full scale man hunt. Task force leader Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm) is getting closer to discovering their identities by the hour and he starts his investigation with Ms.Keesey.

Paranoid, MacRay be-friends Ms.Keesey to assess her knowledge of incriminating details about him and his team; clueless of his true identity, she falls in love with him and they begin a relationship behind the teams back and in plain sight of the FBI. Suspicions rise from all sides, along with the investigation and the difficulty and dangerousness of their following heists. MacRay’s loyalty is conflicted between his friends and new love, in the midst of a closing investigation and critical heists.

The town is a multi-layered film, telling a love story within a cops and robbers action drama, while testing the morals of lasting friendship. As a director Ben Affleck makes all the right decisions and illustrates an emotional and honest narrative. The cast is near-flawless with the exception of Mr. Affleck’s melodramatic relapse in one scene, but all in all this is a great film and one of my favorites of the year. Buy this film on Blu-ray and add it to your collection of great films.


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