By Wendy Simmons
As the writer, director and main character Affleck leads the cast through a classic tale of love and betrayal taking place in Charlestown, Massachusetts. I’m warning you now; you will be hit in the face with the Boston accent while munching on your popcorn.
Charlestown is the real life-leading city for bank robber breeding. This line of “work” is passed down from generation to generation. Although the film was not based on real life accounts, it did a great job of drawing you into a tug of war with your feelings for a man and a thief. You want to hate the thief but you want to root for the man.
Doug, played by Affleck, is an ex hockey pro construction worker by day and masked robber by night. He and his cocky crew of four rob armored trucks and banks. Jeremy Renner gave a convincing performance as Jim, Doug’s best friend and coconspirator. Jim’s the hotheaded unruly ex-con who cares deeply for his love ones but doesn’t give a damn about anyone else.
Along with two others, these skilled professionals were almost untouchable. So much so that they gave no qualms about briefly kidnapping a hostage after a successful bank heist. But that hostage could be the very one to finger them or to help them. The kidnapped woman, Claire, played by Rebecca Hall, became the romantic love interest of Doug after he tailed her to see if she was in cahoots with the feds. We saw the compassion that he held for her during the robbery and he acted upon those emotions once she made contact with him. Unknowing to her, she was sharing her feelings, scares and evidence with the very man that helped to take her hostage.
With Claire being a tunnie, an outsider of Charlestown, and Doug being a fully-fledged rep for the town they enjoyed what was different about each other. Her growing feelings weren’t enough to steer him completely away from a life of crime but it did help to show him that his underlined abandonment issues hindered him from moving forward. Once Doug decided to take a leap of faith and leave his comfort zone, he wanted her to join him. But like all good caper films, the thief must complete one last huge heist before taking off. And with the feds watching him, his friends and Claire it’s not going to be an easy walk through the garden.
The men are genius thieves but all great things it must come to an end, on one side or the other.
The Town was an exciting film with a fresh cast. Affleck may regain respect for his craft after this one. Although his copulation of worthy actors, a fine script and direction made this occasionally funny romantic crime drama, a great choice for a matinee the story moved a little too quickly for the impact of their actions to appear realistic making me question just how clever these superb thieves really were.
Grab a date and some snacks and head to an early show. I give it $$$
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