The Town (2010) [REVIEW]

 

Ben Affleck, that guy from Mad Men, Massachusetts, and Hawkeye?! What’s not to like! Even though I had never seen the movie, I bought it for a yankee swap with my family this past Christmas, because with a combination like that, how could you not be interested? And I know what you’re thinking, and no, it’s not a sequel to The Village, sadly, which will hopefully be made any day now. Let me clarify that this movie is about Charlestown, which is a neighborhood in Boston, MA. It’s kind of confusing trying to figure out bullshit between neighborhoods and actual cities in Boston, the same way it makes no sense in Chicago either. Why won’t they let me be in charge of this shit?! Also, my research suggests that this was based on some book called “Prince of Thieves“. If you say so!

 

NEVER TRUST AN OLD LADY.

Ben Affleck and Hawkeye, a.k.a. Jeremy Renner, are bank robbers in Charlestown, and to establish that, we see them robbing a bank. They interact with this one lady to get her to open the safe, played by Rebecca Hall, and end up taking her captive to buy themselves some leverage. They release her a little while later, but it’s long enough that she is visibly unsettled, and has a hard time cooperating with the FBI guy, played by Jon Hamm, and she is all sad and stuff. Affleck wants to make sure that lady doesn’t give away too much, so essentially stalks her, but turns on the Affleck charm, and they start a relationship. Obviously this bums out Hawkeye, and Jon Hamm doesn’t know about it, but it’s awkward for all parties involved. The guy who has been setting up these heists, played by the late, great Pete Postlethwaite, learns of this relationship, and threatens everybody into performing one last job, worth three million dollars, to rob Fenway Park. Everybody agrees to it, but it doesn’t pan out that well. Hawkeye ends up getting killed during the heist, and Affleck escapes. When contacting that girl he was all sexy with, he sees that the FBI is there to meet him, so he buries some money for her and moves down to Florida. She uses the money to build a community ice rink, and Ben Affleck grows a beard. I don’t think Jon Hamm was happy at the end.

 

NEVER TRUST A BEN AFFLECK.

One of the biggest strengths about this movie was that it really was about the “town”, as opposed to being too much about any one character. Obviously it was about all of these characters, with Ben Affleck being the focus, but the story felt driven by the setting rather than by the characters. The love story wasn’t too over-the-top, and at the end, he didn’t really end up with the girl. You didn’t necessarily feel bad for Affleck’s character, and he obviously was entertaining and charismatic, but you knew he was an asshole. Jon Hamm got some of what he wanted, because at least he killed Hawkeye, which was someone he had been after for a while. Hawkeye got the shitty end of the stick, but that was his fault. I also found the heist scenes to be entertaining, because despite my descriptions, there were heists involving trickery and deceit to get the money. They seemed just clever enough that I knew I wouldn’t have thought of it, but these people weren’t supercriminals or anything like that. Definitely recommend it, but considering the original cut was 4 hours, then 2 hours and 50 minutes, it definitely felt like it was missing a little bit of heart.

 

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5 responses to “The Town (2010) [REVIEW]

    • Dude, it’s obvious from the beginning. There’s no way anyone could see this movie and not see the surprise beard coming from a mile away.

  1. Imo, “The Town” is a cheesy, overrated piece of junk that’s more like a feature-length soap-opera than a regular movie. The car crashes and car chases, and the shoot-outs are totally unrealistic…there’s no way anybody could’ve survived any of them, plus there haven’t been any shoot-outs in the North End, and Fenway Park has never, ever been robbed.

    I also think that the romance between Doug and Claire is totally implausible and impractical. Not that people of different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds can’t and don’t get into relationships…that happens all the time in real life, but what’s an attractive-looking, educated woman who makes a decent salary as a bank manager and owns an expensive condo in Charlestown doing with a guy like Doug MacRay, who’s not only uneducated and without skills of any kind (he just works in (i. e. fooling with drugs/alcohol, picking fights with teammates), but is also a professional armed bank/armored car robber with an extensive criminal record who’s also a wanted fugitive on the lam from the law? That whole idea really doesn’t sit well with me..at all, and I refuse to buy into it.

    If somebody’s sort of a wise-guy, that’s one thing, but Doug MacRay is a professional career criminal, armed felon and wanted fugitive, and the fact that Claire is either too naive or too willfully ignorant to sever all contacts with Doug and immediately seek help from the Feds almost defies belief. Saying that Claire abetted Doug’s crimes is a little strong, but the fact that she refused to sever all contacts with him even after learning who he really was, after Doug acted so deceitfully towards her, and after the Feds learned of Doug and Claire’s relationship through a recorded phone call between those two is beyond stupid, plus it makes Claire sort of an accessory to Doug’s crimes, to boot, no matter what anybody says or thinks

    I also don’t like the fact that Claire made total dupes of FBI S. A. Frawley and the other Feds right when they were on the verge of catching Doug MacRay and sending him to prison, where he belonged, by giving Doug a “Sunny Days” tipoff to the Feds’ presence in her Charlestown condo. Frankly, I think that Agt. Frawley and the other Feds should’ve specifically instructed Claire to not answer Doug’s phone calls, to keep her big, fat trap shut, and to let them do the job they’d been assigned to do; catch/nab Doug MacRay and send him to serve some long, hard time in a Federal penitentiary, where he belonged. As for Claire, she should’ve been criminally prosecuted herself, or at least put on some sort of probation for obstructing justice, by enabling Doug MacRay, a career criminal who was an armed felon and wanted fugitive, to get off scott-free.

    • Thanks for the input! I’m glad you had a thorough review of why you didn’t like the different elements of this film, rather than what most people do, which is say “that sucked”. I wouldn’t say that “action” movies are necessarily a genre that I don’t really pursue, so my review might just be someone uneducated on the matter. I watch things that are sci-fi action or horror action, but not typically something that’s more like the type of film that “The Town” is. I saw it once, thought it was fun, didn’t think too much about it, and haven’t been back to it since. Maybe my opinion would change on a second viewing, but I don’t really care enough about it to pursue.

  2. Hi, Wolfman. You’re welcome. Thank you for your input, and for understanding where my view of “The Town” is coming from. I thought that “The Town” had the potential for being a really good, or maybe even a great film, which was indicated by the beginning of the film; i. e. the opening aerial and on-the-ground shots of Boston’s Charlestown section and Boston generally, as well as the opening bank heist, but it began to go downhill for me, within a matter of minutes.

    I also find it hard to believe that Claire didn’t have any idea who Doug MacRay really was and what he was up to, particularly during the conversations between Doug and Claire on their first two dates, when Doug began schpieling off to Claire like a big know-it-all, about how the criminal justice system at large supposedly worked, and then responding “Not really. I watch a lot of TV.” to Claire’s challenging Doug with “You’re quite the expert.”

    The fact that Doug purchased an expensive Tiffany diamond necklace for Claire also should’ve been a red flag for Claire, but an even more telling event is when Doug and Claire were in Claire’s Charlestown condo and Claire responding with “I know who you are, Doug.”, when he asked to leave Charlestown with him. This latter event, although small, clearly indicates that Claire at least had an inkling about who he was (kind of shady), but didn’t bother to try to put a finger on it.

    The fact that Claire refused to sever all contacts with Doug MacRay even after having been caught red-handed in a relationship with Doug by FBI Agt. Frawley and Ofcr Dino Ciampa (an ex-Charlestown Townie), tipped Doug off to the Feds’ presence in her condo when they were right on the verge of nabbing him and sending him to prison, and spent Doug’s stolen money on the renovation of the C-town ice hockey rink instead of arranging to turn the money anonymously over to the proper authorities and finding more honest ways to obtain funding for the C-Town rink renovation, imho, puts Claire in a really bad light, and makes people with any sense of ethics or decency realize that she (Claire) wasn’t innocent, either. She became an accessory to Doug MacRay’s crimes and should’ve at least been put on some sort of probation for being an accessory to Doug’s crimes and for receiving stolen goods (Doug’s blood-stained loot money.)

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