Jan 18, 2011

The Town Review

image from Amazon

Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) and his gang of bankrobbers are being hunted down by the FBI, lead by agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm of Mad Men). Cat and mouse, forbidden love and baby mama drama ensue.

Given that Ben Affleck has only directed/written very few movies, I would say this is a good notch on his belt, but I thought there was a lot of missed potential. One of Doug MacRay's best friends in his gang is very reminiscent of Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs - essentially an emotionless serial killer, but despite a very brief physical altercation, there's no importance of this conflict. MacRay gives a few "dude, why?" but every time, it's glazed over with a "lol, noob" response. Then after the physical altercation, everything seems forgotten and forgiven. Other members of the gang are complete background characters who you have no emotional attachment about what happens to them. Other than this, and a kind of lack-luster ending that could have been built up a lot bigger, there was a lot of good in this film.

My Highlights:
Doug MacRay's revenge at the end, and any scene where the gang is wearing a mask. They come up with some pretty ludicrous yet thoroughly entertaining disguises.

Overall Rating:
Maybe it's because I've seen so many gangster films, or that I thought The Departed was a bit overrated, but I didn't see the big hype about this film. It was good, but for the awards it won and the acclaim it received, I was expecting something a lot crisper and more original. Still a good film that I'll give a solid 4 1/4 *'s out of 5, or 8 1/2 *'s out of 10.

When You Should See It:
If you're a big fanatic for car chases and gun battles, see this film immediately. If you're only looking for a gangster film, put it on your rental queue at some point.

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