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The Town (2010)

Welcome to the bank robbery capital of America.

Starring:

Ben AffleckBen Affleck

Blake Lively

Brian Scannell

Chris Cooper

Corena Chase

Dennis McLaughlin

Jeremy Renner

Jon Hamm

Owen Burke

Pete Postlethwaite

Rebecca Hall

Slaine

Titus Welliver

Directed by:

Ben AffleckBen Affleck

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 125 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States

As The Town marks another rung on the ladder back to respectability for Ben ‘The Walking Chin’ Affleck after the Lopez Years, I rather think it’s a pretty average heist movie masquerading as a deep-thinking drama.

Lead man Doug is a longtime bank robber from Charlestown – the robbery capital of Boston. After pulling off an impressive bank heist, Doug falls in love with Claire (Hall) the bank manager, and he has to choose between his best friend (Renner) and accomplices and a shot at leaving The Town and finding love. Unfortunately for Doug, getting out of this community of thieves is harder said than done and he has to do one last robbery to stand a chance of getting a future.

The characterisation of Ben Affleck’s is all over the place and ruins the film in my opinion. Doug, the superhero, is smart, caring, funny, charming, principled, romantic, well-liked and tough whilst simultaneously being a cop killer, bank robber and life destroyer. Multiple middle-distance-staring sob stories come gushing out in quick succession to inadequately give them all a reason for doing what they do but just come across sounding very clichéd and stilted. Somehow Doug is meant to be loved and cheered on by the audience as he is just a victim of his circumstances but this worship of him just leads to you not caring whether he lives or dies. Make him a badass or a saint not a mixture of both to provide us with a character people can believe in.

The Town is a decent thriller that holds the attention for the first half at least and the bank robberies are well executed but a lack of effort and intelligence makes Affleck’s effort no more than a poor man’s The Departed.

It's Got: Awesome masks, Pete Postlethwaite's penultimate performance, some good action

It Needs: Less cliches, better characterisation

DVD Extras A surprisingly sombre Ben Affleck Commentary track and a slick collection of featurettes under the umbrella theme of "Ben's Boston" - pretty good companion piece DVD Extras Rating: 6/10

Alternatives:

Heat, Takers, The Departed

Summary

Ben Affleck’s latest image enhancing effort is like a superhero movie with a cop-killing bank robber as the guy to root for. Uneven characterisation and cringeworthy cliches let this otherwise fairly gripping heist thriller down.

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