I’m just going to start with saying I will not be able to look at a nun now without envisioning a machine gun in hand. An old stereotype is to say that catholic nun’s are strict and weld a ruler like no other. Well…..this movie however has me thinking that is a thing of the past and now are more modernized for our time.
Great….just started my review and I’m already off track.
The Town is Ben Affleck’s 2nd directorial movie after doing Gone Baby Gone. He proves here that wasn’t a fluke with him behind the camera. Here he wears the two hats (director/lead actor) with no issues what so ever. To create this film Affleck took your typical heist film, added some twists, typical love story, and raw emotion with personal demons. You can see where Good Will Hunting aspired some of the writing here. Of course he can’t have all the credit since this film is based on Chuck Hogan’s Prince of Thieves, but you can clearly see Affleck’s contribution to the story.
From the trailers you will know the basic premise here. A group of men rob a bank and one of them falls for the manager that they took hostage. Simple premise done in Hollywood many times, bad boy seeks redemption after falling for women. What you don’t see the trailers is the personal struggles Affleck’s Doug MacRay deals with each day involving family, friends, the life he lives in, and his desire to go beyond what he has become this far in life. Rebecca Hall plays the traumatized victim/love interest with ease and makes you believe every action and emotion she displays.
This film has a great ensemble cast featuring the likes of TV’s Mad Men Jon Hamm, The Hurt Locker’s Jeremy Renner, and TV’s Gossip Girl Blake Lively. Two other actors in smaller roles but VERY effective were Chris Cooper and Mr. Kobayashi himself Pete Postlewaite. Those not familiar with the reference, go out and rent 1995’s The Usual Suspects to understand. Ensemble cast or not, Affleck still owns this movie.
I will freely admit after viewing The Town, I was a little unsure what to think. I really liked the raw emotion and action portrayed but was a little down on the film with glorifying violence in a way that gives no regard to public/innocent lives. After a day to settle my thoughts and some feedback from my colleagues and friends Mike and Rene, I felt stronger about my view on this film.