Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Shipping Up to Boston: “The Town” is a Superbly Executed Heist Flick

A movie like “The Town” is the hardest type of movie to write a review of. It’s a great movie. You want to praise it, but not over do it. It’s a serious movie so it’s hard to crack jokes about a movie that takes itself so seriously. And it stars and is directed by Ben Affleck, he’s usually the butt of jokes but not here. As a director he’s a force to be reckoned with because as of now his stance is 2 for 2. A few years back he gave us the brilliant “Gone Baby Gone” and directed Amy Ryan’s powerful performance to an Academy Award nomination. Just how is it that this guy, who stared in flops like Gigli and Reindeer Games, on a winning streak in Hollywood. Once just tabloid fodder he is now an auteur who can take simple, emotional character based stories and turn them into fascinating, addictive films. How can you joke about that? Affleck I salute you!

“The Town,” taking place in Charlestown, Massachusetts, tells the story of a man named Doug MacRay (Affleck) and his three friends who are a team of bank robbers. They’re pretty stealth and rarely come into much trouble. They have a sophisticated system that helps them avoid capture from the authorities. The film opens up when them robbing a bank wearing scary monster masks. They take a woman hostage but eventually let her go. This woman is Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall). Claire is obviously shaken up by the robbery and fails to tell the FBI specific things about her captures (including a tattoo seen on the back of Jem’s (Jeremey Renner) neck. Doug begins to follow Claire around to make sure she hasn’t said anything to the feds that could put his team away. In so doing they begin a romantic relationship.

One could easily slap their forehead and claim that Claire is the stupidest character they’ve ever seen. She has no clue that Doug is one of the men who took her hostage and it’s simply fascinating to watch their relationship develop. And it never seems forced, it blossoms naturally. We can credit Affleck and the other two screenwriters Peter Craig and Aaron Stockard (who co-wrote Gone Baby Gone). They write realistic characters who are put into such a strange situation and it makes the viewer just sit there waiting to see what’s going to happen next (The film is based on a novel called “Pince of Thieves.”) Meanwhile FBI agent Adam Fawley (Jon Hamm) suspects Doug and his friends but needs more evidence. He almost gets more evidence during a breathtaking bank heist that almost goes wrong in which the team is dressed in disturbing nun masks. You’ve seen the posters and ads, it’s a very stark image and it stays with you. Doug, who actually works for a local Irish “florist” played by Pete Postweaite is sort of forced to go on a another robbery even though Doug wants out and to be with Claire. This time he’s forced to rob the Heart of Boston itself…. Fenway Park. Oh and Blake Lively from “Gossip Girl” skanks it up nicely as a white trash mom.

I can’t even begin to describe how well these heist scenes are shot and put together. The action is incredible and I don’t even recall blinking because I didn’t want to miss a millisecond of it. The gritty photography from Robert Elswit makes the film drip with a glorious 1970s vibe that I really dug. This is sort of “The French Connection” for today’s generation.

While I don’t think it’s better than something like say, “The Departed,” I think it can easily stand beside it as yet another wonderful Boston-set modern crime film that is exquisitely acted and directed. It’s such a well-made film you sometimes wonder why Ben Affleck spent so much time in front of the camera (although his performance is good here) when all along he should have been in that damn director’s chair from the beginning! GRADE: A


7 comments:

Splitz said...

woo-hoo!

Coach Factory said...

gucci outlet, true religion, kate spade handbags, prada outlet, kate spade outlet, air max, chanel handbags, oakley vault, true religion outlet, longchamp handbags, ray ban sunglasses outlet, oakley sunglasses, coach purses, louboutin, true religion jeans, tiffany and co, prada handbags, toms shoes, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, nike free, louis vuitton outlet online, louis vuitton handbags, tory burch outlet, michael kors handbags clearance, longchamp handbags, michael kors outlet, air max, coach outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, jordan shoes, coach factory outlet, cheap michael kors, polo ralph lauren outlet online, air jordan, nike air max, longchamp outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, coach outlet store online, nike shoes, michael kors outlet online, louboutin outlet, burberry outlet online, nike free

Coach Factory said...

mac cosmetics, sac guess, barbour, roshe run, montre pas cher, converse pas cher, north face, vanessa bruno, new balance pas cher, air force, nfl jerseys, north face jackets, abercrombie and fitch, nike huarache, birkin bag, michael kors, oakley pas cher, new balance shoes, lancel, louis vuitton, louboutin, hollister, louis vuitton, converse shoes, lululemon, supra shoes, michael kors, reebok outlet, lululemon outlet, timberland, air max, karen millen, nike roshe, ralph lauren, michael kors, nike air max, north face outlet, nike free, nike blazer, ray ban pas cher, hogan, nike trainers, ray ban, hermes, burberry, lacoste, hollister, abercrombie and fitch, vans, mulberry

Coach Factory said...

oakley, ugg, ugg, ugg boots, juicy couture outlet, instyler ionic styler, ugg boots, marc jacobs, canada goose outlet, wedding dresses, soccer jerseys, canada goose outlet, rolex watches, gucci, canada goose, soccer shoes, moncler, louboutin, tn pas cher, p90x3, insanity, herve leger, beats by dre, canada goose, canada goose, moncler, mont blanc, jimmy choo, celine handbags, air max, moncler outlet, ugg outlet, asics gel, juicy couture outlet, hollister, babyliss pro, canada goose, giuseppe zanotti, vans, ferragamo shoes, moncler, chi flat iron, ralph lauren, bottega veneta, moncler, uggs on sale, ray ban, mcm handbags, valentino shoes, ghd

yun mao said...

pandora
kate spade outlet
discount oakley sunglasses
true religion outlet
tory burch handbags
toms shoes
fitflop shoes
thomas sabo uk
burberry outlet online
marc jacobs handbags
hollister
louis vuitton outlet online
cheap nba jerseys
ray ban
prada handbags
kobe 9 shoes
adidas outlet
thomas sabo
tiffany and co
prada shoes
tods outlet
asics shoes
ray ban sunglasses online
tod's sale
michael kors canada
tiffany and co jewelry
coach outlet store
michael kors handbags
coach outlet
ray ban outlet
karen millen uk
instyler ionic styler
coach outlet online
beats headphones
polo ralph lauren outlet
kate spade handbags
hollister clothing store
ralph lauren polo shirts
valentino sale
hollister pas cher
20150324maoqiuyun

Weiming Zhu said...

oakley sunglasses
oakley sunglasses
michael kors outlet
pandora jewelry
cheap mlb jerseys
instyler ionic styler
ray ban uk
cheap nfl jerseys
michael kors outlet
timberland boots
herve leger
burberry outlet online
adidas wings
marc jacobs
salomon shoes
hollister clothing
babyliss
nike roshe run
true religion jeans
kate spade outlet
abercrombie and fitch
kate spade outlet
air jordan 11
adidas shoes
toms shoes
pandora jewelry
celine outlet
mont blanc
fitflop
lacoste polo shirts
christian louboutin
coach outlet online
rolex watches
michael kors outlet online
karen millen dresses
kate spade handbags
tory burch outlet
polo lacoste pas cher
kobe 9
cheap nba jerseys
caiting0425

Wenhao Guo said...

cheng0926
futbol baratas, http://www.futbol-baratas.com/
louis vuitton outlet, http://www.louisvuittonoutletstore.name/
michael kors factory outlet, http://www.michaelkorsfactoryoutlets.in.net/
nike air max uk, http://www.nikeairmaxshoes.org.uk/
oakley sunglasses wholesale, http://www.oakleysunglasseswholesale.us.com/
michael kors handbags, http://www.michaelkorshandbags.in.net/
football shirts, http://www.cheapfootballshirt.org.uk/
ralph lauren, http://www.poloralphlaurenoutlet.it/
abercrombie and fitch, http://www.abercrombie-fitch.us.com/
michael kors outlet store, http://www.michaelkorsoutlet-store.us.com/
cheap oakley sunglasses, http://www.cheapoakleysunglassess.us.com/
juicy couture outlet, http://www.juicycoutureoutlet.net/
nba jerseys, http://www.nbajerseys.us.com/
soccer jerseys, http://www.soccerjerseys.us.com/
oakley sunglasses, http://www.oakleysunglasses-outlet.us.com/
oakley outlet, http://www.oakleyoutlet.in.net/
louis vuitton handbags, http://www.louisvuittonhandbags.org.uk/
michael kors bags, http://www.michaelkorsbags.uk/