Director: Ben Affleck
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, John Hamm, Blake Lively, and Rebecca Hall
career has had its ups and downs over the years. He entered the national spotlight with
Good Will Hunting
. Since then it has been very hit and miss for Mr. Affleck. There have been highs:
Shakespeare in Lov
e, but more often than not there have been lows:
Forces of Nature, The Sum of All Fears, Surviving
, I can at least now forgive Ben Affleck for his string of flops. In 2007 Ben directed
, a drama with well crafted character development. The Town has cemented his reputation as a solid director but also restored my faith in his acting ability.
The film focuses on a group of blue collar guys living in Boston Mass. They all enter the family business of robbing banks. During the opening heist, a blindfolded hostage is taken and subsequently released. After the robbery, Affleck follows the young woman and assumes responsibility for assuring that she is not able to identify the masked villans. Of course he falls in love with the victim, but does not tell the rest of his crew that he is now dating the one woman that could send them to prison. Oscar nominee
(The Hurt Locker) is Affleck’s life long and prison hardened pal who served an eight year sentence for man slaughter. Renner’s star is on the rise. In 2012, he will costar along side
Robert Downey Jr.
in Marvel Comics'
(Gossip Girl) turns in a surprisingly strong performance as a drug addicted mom who is in love with Affleck. Next summer she will be flying high with
The Green Lantern
(AMC’s Mad Men) portrays the federal agent hellbent on tracking them all down. British actress
was the most impressive for me. Hall's character is victimized in a horrible way. Through the course of the movie she must learn to accept that the man who is responsible for her trauma is the same man that helped her overcome it. Her teary eyed scenes were the most emotional in the film.
With a movie that focuses on criminals as the main characters, the trick is making the audience empathize for them when the going gets tough. These bank robbers deserve to get caught or gun downed for their wickedness and violence toward others. Affleck managed to have me routing for them to the very end. Thankfully he does not even try to portray them sympathetically but by being honest to who they are as people. They know their lives could end at any moment. There is a sad acceptance of this fact that runs throughout the film. As the characters say several times they will see each other again, “this side or the other.” Affleck is the only one who has the desire or even the hope of a better life. The Shawshankian ending to the film does provide some redemption to the story.
is a movie I would absolutely see again, but it is a town that I would never want to visit.
score 8 out of 10