Archive for April 10th, 2011
10 Apr

A Blip of a Movie Review: “The Town”

Alternative Title: “This Should Erase My Debt for Gigli”

Short Plot: A band of four Charlestown neighborhood guys are expert bank/truck robbers who work for an aging thug. When one bank job goes a little awry, they become concerned about one specific witness they had to kidnap and then set free. Ben Affleck follows her to make sure she isn’t going to spill anything to the FBI and through an odd meeting begins to get involved with her without telling her of his involvement with the robbery and her kidnapping. He then has to keep the relationship a secret from his partners in crime. He’s done with this criminal life and wants to leave and get out, but there is always another job to do and pressure to do it. Can he do a final job and get out? Will the girl find out about his secret? Will the guys find out about Ben’s relationship?

Pros: Ben Affleck is actually a good actor here but an even better director, Jeremy Renner deserved his Oscar nom for this film, it has one doozie of a chase scene – probably one of the best I’ve seen in years, the plot sounds a bit unreal and melodramatic but totally works, an action film that almost had me in tears, and the rare film where you root for one of the criminals rather than the “good” guys.

Cons: A slight quibble that the last 5 minutes feel like it was added for test screening audiences.

Verdict: Had I actually seen this last year it would have easily made my “best of” list – even a contender for the top film. I’ve never been a fan of Ben Affleck, but this changes everything. He really did a great job acting, but the real props should be saved for his directing. He reminds me of one of the middling actors who truly came to life when they directed – folks like Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford (minus the excellent films they starred in before directing, obviously). I was thoroughly engrossed by the film, even more so than I expected. As mentioned, I didn’t much care for the last few minutes of the film and there was a point they could have just stopped and ended it and it would have been brilliant. Regardless, the film overall still was terrific and I’m hoping Affleck can continue to make quality films like this.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Blips ••••

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