Writer: Lai Swee WeiWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects:
NACinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“State Of Play”, “Gone Baby Gone”, “Public Enemies”
"The Town", Ben Affleck's second directorial picture after "Gone Baby Gone", further proves that he is a filmmaker to be reckoned with. Based on Chuck Hogan's novel "Prince of Thieves", we are quickly introduced to the location of the story - Charlestown, home to more armoured cars and bank robbers than anywhere else in the United States.
It is a place where criminal lifestyles are passed down from father to son, and one of them is Doug MacRay (Affleck). Together with his hot-headed best friend James (Jeremy Renner) and two other partners, the amusingly-masked notorious foursome pulls off an unnerving bank job in the opening sequence. After a narrow escape, Doug volunteers to keep an eye on a possible witness, young bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall). However in doing so, he slowly forms an unlikely romance with her after a cute acquaintance at the Laundromat - unaware that he's the same man who coaxed her into opening a vault!
Frankly, Affleck's performance truly feeds off the charisma of an all-round charming person that has the ability to sweep the ladies off their feet. Although the chemistry between Affleck and Hall may not be sizzling, it is believable enough without being over sentimental and serves to be the heart of this tale. Inevitably, Doug decides to leave his 'career' behind and start anew, possibly together with Claire, running away to Florida. But neither James nor their crime boss, Fergie (Pete Postlethwaite) is going to let him off easy.
"The Town" leaves no room for petty conversations and pointless moments, as all of the characters are well utilise towards the story's benefit. Moreover, the film's most powerful moment is in the second half, during which Doug and his gang attempts two armed robberies, leading to tense car chase sequences and explosive standoffs with the FBI and police. To Affleck's credit, he knows how to slowly build the situation for an intense showdown, especially during the climatic shootout at Boston's iconic Fenway Park.
Interestingly, "The Town" ended in a poignant manner, making the whole story feel serene and complete. A brilliant piece this one, not to be missed especially if you're into heist films.Cinema Online, 27 October 2010