Affleck directs and plays in Boston crime-thriller The Town
By Katrina Tortoricci
“Welcome to the bank robbery capital of America” – a world where theft, hijacks, and high-speed chases are a part of the routine… and Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) makes it look so easy.
Born and raised in Charlestown, Boston, Doug is the Daniel Ocean of his much smaller gang of robbers. Though not nearly as witty, The Town is cleverly written, as the good guys are outsmarted and the audience finds itself rooting for the bad ones. The film wastes no time in easing into the action.
The gang of four pulls a bank job right in the opening credits and are successful. To Claire’s (Rebecca Hall) dismay, the attractive bank manager, who is taken hostage by the criminals, is then released without so much as a scratch.
Still traumatized over the incident, she meets Doug in their local laundromat, where he witnesses her post-traumatic stress. Doug then decides to keep a close eye on her, which he neglects to tell his friends, and inevitably falls in love with her. Meanwhile, the FBI is working hard to gather evidence in order to arrest the suspects before they execute their next job. Little does the brotherhood know, Doug plans to leave Charlestown behind for a fresh start, far from the place that turned him into a thief, and hopefully not alone.
Very little humour, heavy on the drama, with a somber vibe, but the nun disguises and outstanding performances make up for it. Blake Lively is almost unrecognizable, as she displays such magnificent emotion and depth in her character of a washed up single mother (not to mention manages an extremely credible Boston accent). This film shows some promising potential in the young actress, who is known for her role as Serena Vanderwoodsen in the teenage television drama Gossip Girl.
Affleck deserves praise for a convincing performance and stylistic directing. The intensity that permeates through the screen is easily absorbed by the audience. The storyline, however, could use a few more twists and turns. It is bordering on the predictable and lacks an edge of your seat “it” factor element which would have added more spice to the long film. Nonetheless, it is a great rendition of a gangster-ridden crime in Charlestown, Boston.