REVIEW: The Town
After becoming a laughing stock in Hollywood, Ben Affleck resurrected his career in 2007 with Gone Baby Gone, his directorial debut. The film was a great thriller about the search for a missing child. So, surely, The Town, his second effort behind the camera would be just as good. Guess again.
The Town is a by-the-numbers heist movie that brings nothing new to the genre. You get the usual cat and mouse chase between the cops and robbers, the criminal who's really not that bad and wants to turn his life around, and the forbidden romance. If you've seen Heat, Dead Presidents, or heck, even Point Break, then this will be nothing more than a yawn for you. Even the Boston setting is getting a bit tiring. Mystic River was 7 years ago. It's time for Hollywood to find a new city to exploit.
Oscar season has just begun and The Town will most likely be up for consideration. Aside from the acting, which was pretty good, there's nothing Oscar-worthy here. Ben Affleck isn't Matt Damon but he's fun to watch. Jeremy Renner is a natural. Jon Hamm is a classic leading man (although he's stuck doing supporting work here). And, Rebecca Hall is great in everything she does. The real surprise in the cast is Blake Lively as a slutty drug addict who fools around a bit with Affleck's character and becomes too attached to him. Lively is known for light-weight teen films and TV shows like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Gossip Girl, but she actually holds her own here. She'll even remind you of Amy Ryan's friend in Gone Baby Gone. Then it'll remind you that you should be watching that movie instead.