15, 125 Minutes. Starring: Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Blake Lively, Jeremy Renner & Pete Postlethwaite. Director: Ben Affleck
On his sophomore script Affleck really goes to town.
Remember in 'Good Will Hunting' where Ben Afflecks Chuckie tells Matt Damon's Will that he's "sitting on a winning lottery ticket"? Basically telling him not to waste his potential because he doesn't want to go to his doorstep in 20 years and see that he's still there. Well it looks like Matt Damon heeded that on screen advice from his best friend and thus a star was 'bourne'. This didn't mean that Ben Affleck was left behind however. Sure he has had his ups and downs, (that's what happens when your a 'Daredevil' (although that films pretty decent)) but Affleck won't be found waiting at Damon's porch anymore-and not just because Matt cashed in that lottery ticket-but because Ben has moved on too.
Ben Affleck is still one of the best actors around but he can bank on a successful sitting in the directors chair. His rookie film saw him 'Gone Baby Gone' and critics hailed it 'impressive'. Now Ben delivers his genius follow up 'The Town'. A film about a group of ruthless bank robbers in Boston who see no ceilings in their untouchable status until leader of the pack Ben Affleck falls in love with one of his hostages...classic.
Due to burglar masks that are even uglier than those Richard Nixon ones Affleck's hostage doesn't recognise him even when he follows her to their local laundry with no dirty whites and apparently a clean conscience. From their clean slate and fresh sort of start love blossoms as Affleck now takes her heart too. The problem is what will Afflecks buddies think of this when they find out? It has the makings of an aaakwaaaard lunch date and you thought meeting your girls girlfriends was petrifying enough.
Now that isn't the only problem Ben faces. Him and his team have the entire Boston police department and the FBI after them. A crack unit led by a mad man in the form of an equally Affleck stellar performance from Jon Hamm, who has made a great bee line from the small screen to the silver one. Ben also brings even more baggage to his new relationship in the form of an almost unrecognisable but undeniable Blake Lively and a bouquet of atypical florists who you do not want to receive roses from.
This film was made by the studio that brought us 'The Departed' which basically means this film is set in Boston. In addition, just like that Departed movie (that starred Damon) this good guys and bad guys thriller is top notch. While the city streets of Boston day and night look beautiful all whilst managing to maintain a sinister backdrop for this crime caper.
Even at just a shade over two and a half hours this film still leaves you gripped throughout. It may also look like a merchandising campaign for Boston sports jackets but with or without that this film is cloaked with authenticity. While Ben is at his career best in front and behind of the camera. I bet Boston were proud of their adopted Californian son at the films premiere in Fenway park as Affleck has hit big on his second strike. The home of the Sox also provides a great backdrop for the opening of the films classically thrilling third act. The support in this film also is as strong as the Boston Celtics bench, Jeremy Renner puts in a chilling performance with avengance (Marvel when you see him look even sharper as 'Hawkeye' soon) and in this town and 'Inception' Pete Pothelswaite has subbed in two of the best films this year.
'The Town' is at home in a city of great crime thrillers. It's chilling, exciting and even provides light relief at times to keep you involved, unlike that lone police officer. The action is incredible, the scenes involving paramedics is clinical and the action involving nuns is a testament to a great belief in directing and writing. Also just like Afflecks first flick the acting is understated but comes with a depth that's hard to find in the core of most movies these days. Unlike Affleck's first film however 'The Town' is more than brilliant, it's classic. In short 'The Town' is one picture you've gotta visit one night before it's 'Gone Baby Gone' and your left standing on the doorstep all alone. TIM DAVID HARVEY