Mini-Review: The Town (2010)

The Town (2010)

Starring Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Chris Cooper, Slaine, Titus Welliver, Pete Postlethwaite, Owen Burke, Edward O’Keefe

Directed by Ben Affleck

Expectations: Low.

Your ability to really dig in and care about the events in The Town hinges on your connection to Ben Affleck’s character. If over the course of the movie, you find yourself wrapped up enough to care about him, then I’m sure you enjoyed the movie. If however, you didn’t particularly care about his character and you thought he was needlessly stupid, then you probably have the same mixed feelings I did when I finished watching The Town.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a pretty good movie. The acting is very good from most of the cast with Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm and Rebecca Hall leading in strong supporting roles. Pete Postlethwaite is fantastic in his limited screen time. Ben Affleck feels a bit out of place in some scenes, but he does a good job overall. A lot of my problem with his acting can be explained through his character’s motivations so I can overlook his presumed shortcomings and chalk them up to being “the way he meant to do it.”

Affleck’s direction is similar to his acting. There are flashes of real talent, but more often than not, the shot selection and editing are so incredibly mainstream and phoned in that any name from Paul W.S. Anderson to Michael Bay could be in front of the movie and no one would be the wiser. I’m all for Affleck branching out into directing, but at least have some sort of personal style.

Despite every shortcoming, The Town is still worth watching for those interested in movies about small-time criminals trying to finish that last big score so they can leave town and start a clean life. Just don’t expect it to add anything to that predefined plot line.

6 comments to Mini-Review: The Town (2010)

  • Affleck proves that Gone Baby Gone wasn’t just a flash in the pan, and that he really can direct a film with pure inspiration. The action scenes are probably my favorite elements of this film. Good review!

  • Mike_D

    I’m still so shocked to see Ben Affleck in a dignified light. It’s totally bizarro world.

    Another thing is, if his acclaim as a director is to be believed then why only now? Why even bother putting us through all that… “acting”?

    • Yeah I agree. I still can’t believe how much cred he seems to have built for himself with these movies. The Town’s alright but I really think it’s more of a “Wow, Ben Affleck did that!” factor than anything else. There’s some of that “acting” on display in The Town too… some things never change.

  • Laura

    I don’t know that I ever ‘cared’ about Ben Affleck’s character, but I cared about the female lead and wondering how long until she uncovered the truth or how long until it was revealed to her.

    As far as the direction, it’s fine. Mainstream stuff. The appearance of Pete Postlethwaite makes it worth watching.

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