Sunday, July 3, 2011

Film Review: The Town

Between Good Will HuntingThe Departed, Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River and other recent films based in Boston (The Fighter, Boondock Saints, etc.) it has been extremely enjoyable to watch locations so close to me act as the backdrop for some really excellent work.

The Town is another one to add to that list.  As more of a straightforward heist film it retreads ground previously covered in numerous other works but is still fresh.  Yes there are hints of Heat in the action sequences and of Good Will Hunting in some of the dialogue but Affleck who stared, directed and co-wrote the film, knows where to be inspired by prior works and not steal or copy.

It helps that he had a great cast to work with inclusive of Jeremy Renner, Chris Cooper, Jon Hamm and Rebecca Hall.

While not possessing the twists and turns of Affleck's prior work (Gone Baby Gone) The Town holds the audiences interest nearly as well with multiple well staged action sequences, including the penultimate one underneath the stands and grounds of Fenway Park.  Additionally the personal relationships here are twisted just enough to keep them from being posterboard caricatures yet not so much to be an push the viewer away from empathizing with their positions.

While I wouldn't rate the film up there with either Gone Baby Gone or The Departed due to its straightforward narrative (you know where the plot is going, who is going to live and who is going to die, who will fall in love, etc. in the first five minutes of the movie) it remains marvelously entertaining.

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