Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Town

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At first I was hesitant about seeing a movie directed by Ben Affleck because his last couple of directing efforts left a lot to be desired. It turns that as director of this movie he's exemplary and probably should direct himself more often, as he's done a great job both in front of and behind the lens in this excellent heist film.

The movie has three great robbery sequences and a car chase, all of which are directed terrifically. These set pieces frame the film well. The action scenes are graphic and suspenseful. The last one is a tense climax almost up there with Heat's big heist and helps keep the pace of the film, which threatens to slip too far in some of the more emotional parts.
The stark realism is what makes the movie. The characters are believable because they don’t come across as too slick and predictable, even the criminals come across as unassuming and ordinary people caught up in extraordinarily difficult situations. The old-fashioned back drop of Charleston adds to the grittiness of the movie.

The Town could have easily fallen into the trap of being a Heat rip off but the movie’s originality makes it one of a kind. This is an excellent addition to bank robbery films thanks to a strong dramatic script, a top ensemble cast, great action, and actor/director Affleck.