Ben Affleck has solidified both his acting and directing futures with the #1 box office thriller “The Town”. Affleck stars as the central character in the movie, which also features great performances by Jon Hamm and Blake Lively. It is a suspenseful crime-drama that explores the deep-rooted issues of morality, friendship, and loyalty.
“The Town” takes place in Boston, Massachusetts, namely the crime-ridden area of Charlestown. Doug MacRay (Affleck) has lived here his whole life, and now he has mixed feelings about the city he calls home. His father (Chris Cooper) is in prison, and although he had a chance to escape this path, he succumbed to the easy route of greed. So far he and three of his closest friends have managed to outsmart the Boston Police by pulling off major bank robberies without leaving a trace of evidence. His best friend and partner-in-crime is James “Gem” Couglin, a tough and unwavering character played by Jeremy Renner. Doug also has ties to Coughlin’s sister, Krista (Blake Lively), a hard-partying young mother who still has feelings for MacRay.
During one of their heists, Doug MacRay and his crew believe a bank manager might have seen something. MacRay ‘s accomplices don’t want to take a chance, and they tell Doug to “take care of her”.
Once MacRay begins to follow Claire (Rebecca Hall), he finds himself in an odd predicament. He is drawn to her, and the two end up forming a connection. Claire confides in Doug about being the victim of a recent bank robbery, and the conversations only worsen MacRay ‘s feelings about his current lifestyle. Aside from the guilt, Doug MacRay is also feeling the pressure from law enforcement, as an FBI agent is hot on his trail. Jon Hamm plays FBI S.A. Adam Frawley, who will stop at nothing to bring down MacRay and his crew, whom he suspects are behind the robberies.
Ultimately Doug MacRay must choose between saving the woman he loves or his best friend and their history of crime.
“The Town” is intense and thrilling. Affleck does such a good job playing Doug MacRay that you’d believe any tiny wrinkle on his face came from the stress of his life on the edge in Charlestown. In addition to playing the main character, Ben Affleck’s directing skills shine through. The film, which is 203 minutes long, is action-packed and full of intense interpersonal scenes. According to USA Today, “Affleck has a keen eye for cinematic stories and wisely chooses ones set in a city he knows intimately. He has an evident knack for orchestrating intensely involving action scenes.”
Jon Hamm nails his role as FBI special agent Adam Frawley. He has the intensity of a no-nonsense investigator combined with the bravado of a Boston street ruffian. Blake Lively also plays a character opposite of what she’s used to, and it doesn’t seem like the transition was all that hard for her. She is totally believable as bad girl Krista Coughlin. Rebecca Hall, Chris Cooper and Jeremy Renner also do an amazing job sinking into their characters. BV on Movies summed up “The Town” in its review, saying “the acting is aces across the board in this compelling thriller.”
The only complaint might be the length of the film, which could have people getting fidgety in their seats. One thing is for sure though: “The Town” is not for those who have a problem with anxiety. It is a powerful, edge of your seat movie that stays that way throughout its entire length.
Bottom line: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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