December 12, 2010

The Town - 2010

Director: Ben Affleck
Writers: Ben Affleck, Peter Craig, & Aaron Stockard
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall

"Driver's name is Arthur Shea. Former Metro Police officer, fifty-seven years old. Soon as his partner leaves with the coal bag, Artie cracks a Herald, and he don't look up 'til the guy gets back. Marty Maguire. Cummins Armored courier. Five-ten, two-twenty, fifty-two years old. Picks up every Wednesday and Friday at exactly 8:12, makes a hundred and ten dollars a day, carries a Sig nine. And he's about to get robbed." Affleck's sophomoric directorial project is yet another Boston crime drama, this time about four bank robbers (two of whom are Affleck and Renner), a hostage (Hall) they take in the opening scene who gets involved with Affleck's character, and the FBI agent (Hamm) pursuing them.

Affleck has directed, written, and starred in a great follow-up to his debut Gone Baby Gone. The story's compelling, and everyone delivers, even the much-maligned Jon Hamm. One stood out for me above the others: BLAKE LIVELY. While she has less screentime than the underutilized Renner, she makes the most of every second. After watching her performance, I wondered why she's wasting such talent on a show as vapid as Gossip Girl. My only complaint would be that the film had a lot of gunplay. Now, I understand that a movie about robbers has to have cops, and at some point the two will exchange bullets, but a great deal of this film was watching a nearly-Ocean's-Eleven-type plot unfold (even though their earlier criminal exploits were less subtle). It was a bit jarring to interrupt something so detailed with loud noises for seemingly no reason. Good, but I don't see it walking away with any awards this year. B+

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