Movie Review: The Town

April 12, 2011

“One blue-collar Boston neighbourhood has produced more bank robbers and armored car thieves than anywhere in the world.”

The Town tells the story of a group of bank robbers from Charlestown which is a small part of Boston, Massachusetts (USA). The Town provides a story into which the audience can relate to and sympathise with bank robbers, the people who surround them and the people trying to catch them.

This film is a variation on your classic Good vs Bad type scenario, but again the line between Good and Bad is very blurred. The film does borrow these aspects and makes direct reference to a film called Heat (1995) directed by Michael Mann starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. What these 2 films achieve is allowing the audience to “like” or “root for” the bad guys. The audience wants to see the bad guys get away. Does that happen? Well you’re have to watch for yourself, but what I will say, is that while this film does borrow many narrative elements from films like Heat, I think the direction of the film is refreshing and honest. And that the characters, the setting and the plot are believable and allow the viewer to be totally immersed in the story.

The film stars Ben Affleck (who also co-wrote and directed the piece) and Jeremy Renner (Hurt Locker) This film is really nicely cast. Jon Hamm (Mad Men) plays the FBI agent hunting the robbers, and Rebecca Hall as Affleck’s love interest. The supporting cast does really great job carrying the story along too, particularly Blake Lively and what must’ve been one of his final performances, Pete Postlethwaite.

Look, The Town for is a really cool “good guy vs bad guy, but we like the bad guy, and kinda understand where the good guy is coming from, but man what a messed up situation the bad guy has now got himself into and the only way he is going to solve the problem is with one last big heist” kinda film. I was totally into the story and the characters. And the hold up sequences are very visceral, making you feel like you’re right there with them as they’re about to hold up a bank. Plus I’m a fan of the Boston accent.

The Town is one of those rare movies where you can enjoy the action and suspense, but then your date/girlfriend/wife/husband/partner/whatever can enjoy the romantic sub plot and the inner turmoil each character faces.

FAT KIDS RATING: 8 out of 10

Review by Stuart Daulman.

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