The Town (15)
Charlestown, Boston, the capital of carjacking, kidnappings and armed robberies, is a neighbourhood built on loyalty to friends and family, where crime is passed down through generations.
It is also the town where Ben Affleck grew up, the film riding between a genuine affection for the town of his youth, as well as its ability to destroy the lives of those who struggle to escape. The pain of a trapped life is felt in every single mother, drug-addled blue collar worker and disaffected young person on screen. Doug MacRay (Affleck), leader of a successful group of bank robbers, feels this pain more than most, committing reluctantly to the last score that will finally release him from his life on the edge, and bring him out of the shadow of his family’s past.
The Town is Affleck’s second foray into directing (happily, all memories of Daredevil and Gigli far behind him). Fresh off the back of the superb Gone Baby Gone, The Town shows a maturity and respect for his craft usually reserved for those several years, and multiple films, down the line.
The grit and brutality of the street is brilliantly brought to life by a cast of “they so hot right now” young things who are given a script that allows them plenty of space to flex their acting muscles. Utilising the considerable talent of cinematographer Robert Elswit (Salt, There Will Be Blood), Affleck is equally at home with action, played out with energy in the confined streets of Boston.
Sure, the idea of one last score to get out of the game is not a new one, but in the hands of Affleck and friends, it becomes an involving and exciting crime caper, with moments of real humanity and emotion.
Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner