The Town


Proof that a generic formula can still produce a quality product.

While The Town doesn’t do anything particularly new, everything that it does is sleek and captivating. The cinematography brings the city to life and draws the audience into the environment and world in which the film takes place.

What really sets The Town apart from the various films in the genre are the characters and the portrayals of those characters. I honestly feel like Doug (Ben Affleck) was the weakest character in the film, and was thoroughly outshined by James (Jeremy Renner) and Special Agent Frawley (Jon Hamm). Both of those characters were vastly more interesting than Doug, with Renner and Hamm bringing an intensity that Affleck just didn’t portray through his character.

It is interesting that both of the female characters, Claire (Rebecca Hall) and Krista (Blake Lively) were used by Doug in different ways. I’m not sure if this was the intention behind the characters, but it is somewhat frustrating that Doug’s abuse is really their only place in the story.

The Town does something that I wish more heist movies would emulate, and that is not showing too much of the planning. Watching a bunch of people talk about doing something for what feels like an eternity is neither interesting or thrilling, but watching said people act out said plans without previous knowledge is certainly exciting.

My only other real complaint is more of a critique of the genre rather than the film itself: the glorification of criminals. The Town is another film that has the audience rooting for bad people. The viewer wants Doug and his crew to escape with the money, and they feel sorrowful when those characters are caught or killed. Yes, Doug had a tragic childhood. Does that excuse his actions as an adult?

Overall I really enjoyed this film. If you’re looking for something to breathe fresh life into the genre, you’re not going to find it here. If you’re looking for a well-done film with competent acting and beautiful cinematography, The Town certainly delivers.

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