So I watched The Town…
I decided to give this movie a miss at the cinema a few years ago because I couldn’t take Ben Affleck seriously at the time. I’ve always heard great praise for this movie and I decided to give it a go today so that I could judge Affleck’s directing chops.
Okay, basic plot: Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) is the leader of a gang of professional bank robbers. After a successful robbery he discovers that the bank manager of the bank he just robbed lives in his neighbourhood and could, therefore, identify him and his crew. He approaches her to find out what she knows and ends up falling in love with her. It’s basically Stockholm Syndrome on steroids.
This movie reminded me a lot of The Departed. Before I watched this movie, I decided to watch the trailer and one of the taglines was “from the studio that brought you The Departed” and the two definitely had a similar tone and style, which isn’t a bad thing. This movie feels like a spinoff of The Departed actually, except without any of its characters just the same location.
The best thing about this movie is the cast, in particular, Jeremy Renner. His performance earned him an Oscar nomination and it’s not hard to see why. He immerses himself in this character and this is, without doubt, the best acting I’ve seen him do. I loved his character as well, he’s a bit of an asshole but you end up falling in love with him because despite all his flaws he’s a great friend. Rebecca Hall also puts in a powerful performance as the bank manager Affleck’s character falls in love with. Pretty much everybody, with the exception of Jon Hamm and Blake Lively, in this cast put in great performances.
I think this movie’s script and plot needed a little bit more focus. I can’t figure out whether this movie wants to be a heist movie, a crime drama or a love story about a hero seeking redemption. It’s all over the place at times and I think the final story it decides to tell isn’t necessarily the best choice. The action also feels out of place. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s actually quite well-shot and written but I was more interested in the human drama than people shooting guns.
Overall, this is quite an entertaining movie. Jeremy Renner is the star and steals all the scenes he’s in. It’s a good movie and showcases some great human drama and is worth a watch 7/10