With all the great reviews coming out of Ben Affleck’s upcoming film The Town (bad title by the way), I’m hear to burst your bubble — I was not blown away, though I was not disappointed either. This is a great film shielded by it’s need to be perfect and relate to a mass audience, which makes it watchable but not overly impressive. With Animal Kingdom still out in theaters with a far grittier and more realistic experience that shows where the genre can go, not just where it is, it’s hard for another film with similar intent to surpass it.
That all being said, this is still a solid film and worth watching. Find out why below…
- Directer: Ben Affleck
- Writers: Peter Craig, Ben Affleck, Aaron Stockard
- Starring: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Slaine, Owen Burke, Titus Welliver, Pete Postlethwaite, Chris Cooper
- Cinematographer: Robert Elswit
- Music By: David Buckley and Harry Gregson-Williams
- Great Action: There is a car chase scene in the middle of this film that is up there with some of the top chase sequences of all time. The action was well timed, extremely well shot, had me on the edge of my seat, and did a great job of moving the story forward not just being eye-candy.
- Casting: From top to bottom there was a great cast in this film. Renner, Hamm, Affleck, Lively, Hall all gave solid performances though Pete Postlethwaite was the star of the show for me. Though beware the battle of the furrowed brows between Hamm and Affleck – when they face off it’s a competition for who has the most intense forehead wrinkles! It was nice to see Hamm in such a different role from what we’re used to seeing him as on “Mad Men.”
- The Experience: It definitely leaves you feeling like you’ve just watched a proper film not just some Hollywood flick. It ticked all the boxes, the problem was it just didn’t take any risks…
The Middle of the Rode:
- Nothing New: This is a very classic cops and robbers story, well told, but it’s nothing more. It has the potential to be something great but never quite gets there, mainly because it feels like it wants to play it safe.
- Script: This was a good script because there is a lot in this film to keep track of and it’s well organized, but there were moments where it just didn’t buy what was being said by the characters and thought there was the opportunity for so much more. Again, it needed to be dirtier and if we only have a moment with some of the characters, we need them to be exposed, not just in front of us.
- Too Clean/Too Much: There were a lot of characters in this film and we got a taste of all of them, but they all could have gone a bit deeper. This comes out of my desire to see them all a bit more fucked up. These are robbers, killers even raised in one of the most dangerous towns with fucked up backgrounds – I was surprised at how level-headed they all were at times considering.
- The Little Things: The film starts out with a description of Charlestown (which you don’t need) and a few quotes. You really only need the last quote which describes the entire film perfectly in two sentences. Cut the rest. Also, the glasses Cooper wears are far too nice for a prison inmate – two-toned? Really? Then there’s the title, which just doesn’t fit the film. The town is a part of them but it’s not the heart of it and really doesn’t do the film justice.
This is a good film, it has a solid story, there are some memorable shots for you to walk away with, and overall it’s well paced and fun to watch BUT it’s just not anything new and it feels like it was cleaned up for the masses — which can be a good thing! It would be great if Affleck could keep directing, he’s definitely proved himself as a heavy weight behind the camera.
It’s a shame because if Animal Kingdom wasn’t still lurking in the back of my mind I probably would have enjoyed this film far more, but with a perfect film in theaters, it’s impossible to love this one with its minor faults.
That being said, it’s a great date film, it appeals to a lot of people and is definitely worth the price of a ticket.
The Town hits theaters September 17th!