8:00 PM, 24th February, 2011
If you were to go back five years in time and tell me that Ben Affleck – then the star of ‘classics’ like Pearl Harbour and Gigli – would today be a critically acclaimed director, I’d laugh and tell you that that’d be about as likely as a movie about Facebook being made. Look how far we’ve come…
In The Town, Affleck once again draws on his Boston roots, focusing his lens this time on Charlestown, a neighbourhood dubbed the bank robbery capital of America. Affleck, who also co-wrote the film, stars as Doug MacRay, a career criminal who masterminds heists with his three lifelong friends. Despite expert efficiency, their latest job ends in the unorthodox taking of a hostage, Claire Keesey (Hall). Doug convinces his hot-headed best friend (Jeremy Renner) to let her go, but when the FBI start investigating, Doug is tasked with finding out whether Claire knows anything that could jeopardise their identities. They soon fall for each other, however, amidst wavering ties, nerve-wracking close calls, and a dogged FBI agent (Hamm) determined to bring Doug and his crew down.
The Town is an absolutely fantastic film in every respect: incredibly involving, wonderfully written and showcasing some of the most exciting actors working today. This isn’t a big action extravaganza; no slow motion gunfights here, but believable hot bursts of violence instead. This is a grown-up crime thriller that draws tension from character dynamics rather than pyrotechnics. Believe the hyperbole: this is a film that demands to be seen.