The Town (2010) – IMDB
Ben Affleck Has he found a new calling since he is the director’s cap? This seems to be the case in “The Town”, a film by thieves who shines with solid scores of his interpreters. The classicism of structure and lack of nuance in the characters may, however, to play against him.
In a city like Boston, crime is bequeathed from father to son. Doug (Ben Affleck), James (Jeremy Renner) and their cronies are flying on behalf of Fergie (Pete Postlethwaite). When the bad guys fall in love with the beautiful Claire (Rebecca Hall) is the beginning of problems. Especially since the police are never far away.
Watch a feature film like “The Town” is like putting an old pair of slippers. From the first minutes, the viewer feels comfortable because he knows exactly what to expect: a bunch of thugs that will be divided, a nice anti-hero who ardently seeks to escape a love affair a bit pointless, of improbabilities, some clashes muscular, touches of humor and that’s it until its predictable but satisfying conclusion, awash in some rhetoric here. As is usually the case in this type of subject, the maxim remains unchanged: the weight of the family is heavy, and to get out alive, they will often get rid of his chains and leave the port before it is too late.
Having impressed the gallery with “Gone Baby Gone” (which has suffered from comparisons with the much higher “Mystic River” by Clint Eastwood), Ben Affleck did it again carefully by transposing the novel “Prince of Thieves” by Chuck Hogan. His staging, precise but routine alternates between aerial views of the city of Boston and underworld dives into this universe where money is easily obtained by robbing a bank. There is indeed a study of the environment, but still a bit too superficial, in contrast with many more trials met (such as “Heat” by Michael Mann and complete filmography of James Gray).
We must rather look to the actors to experience a real pleasure to the story. Although it starts in constant value, Ben Affleck has rarely seemed more lit and comfortable. It illuminates the screen of its strong presence, alongside Jeremy Renner (the protagonist of “The Hurt Locker”) into a dog dangerous madman who recalls his game a certain Edward Norton. A little more unassuming, Rebecca Hall nonetheless credible, like the always excellent Chris Cooper, who has unfortunately too few scenes to leave a great impression.
Effective if not transcendent, “The Town” shows a filmmaker and writer who has the talent to make very good movies. There is still much work to do, but by dint practice (and dropping its participation in interchangeable romantic comedies), it will probably happen. Hoping that the next a little less typical than the latter.