THE ICEMAN: The Film Babble Blog Review - *THE ICEMAN* *(Dir. Ariel Vroman, 2012) * * *Next month, one of Film Babble Blog's favorite working actors, Michael Shannon will be seen by millions ...
2 hours ago
Review: The Town
Beginning with a gripping opening scene featuring a heist conducted by robbers disguised as nuns, Ben Affleck's The Town is an exhilirating, uncoventional thrill ride. Like his directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, Boston is a central character in the new drama. Specifically the blue-collar neighborhood of Charlestown, the armed robbery capitol of the United States.
Like his debut, The Town again deals with the issues of home, how it builds and defines a person, and whether anyone can (or should) overcome it. Affleck plays Doug, a gravel worker by trade but an expert armed robber. He is the son of an incarcerated criminal, following in daddy's footsteps and succumbing to the pressures of his environment.
All that changes when during the opening bank heist Doug takes bank teller Claire (a sweet Rebecca Hall) hostage. After they get away, leaving Claire a vulnerable emotional wreck, Affleck checks up on her at the behest of his partner Jem (Jeremy Renner) to make sure she is not talking to the police. She falls for him, and he falls for her, seeing a shot at redemption. She is a good person, one who works at a community garden, and is a 180 degree turn away from former flame Krista, an OxyContin-addicted single mom obsessed with Doug.
From there, things get sticky, as Doug seeks to further his relationship with Claire, hide his secret life and protect her from it, and pull off a couple more heists. The film's climax follows a robbery at the most holiest of Boston sites: Fenway Park. And it is breathtaking, to say the least.
After seeing the preview trailers for The Town, it seemed at first glance to be a cliched, uninspired heist movie with an unlikely and unrelated love story, tacked on to grab a female audience. My impression could not have been more off base. Affleck's script defies convention and adds true depth to an idea that could easily have veered into typical action movie fare. His hand at directing is steady as well, and he obviously has a knack for directing thrilling, intricate action sequences.
The acting is great throughout, with exceptional performances from Chris Cooper as Doug's jailed father and Mad Men's Jon Hamm as the FBI agent hot on Doug's trail. Most surprising is Gossip Girl Blake Lively's role as the most un-glam Krista, which she plays with poignant, pained trashiness. Affleck holds down his role as the central character, and his chemistry with Hall is palpable and a large reason why the film's premise works.
The Town defies convention and expectation, a thoughtful and urgent edge-of-the-seat romantic thriller. To put things in context, just a few short years ago Affleck made Gigli. It has to have an filmgoer excited for his directorial potential.
- written by J. Gustav
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“It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.” - Voltaire
“It's the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it.” - Andy Warhol
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Now I am become Exposed Panties, the destroyer of worlds.