I kept hearing rave reviews about The Town. It's the movie that supposedly jumpstarted Ben Affleck's career (in conjunction with Gone Baby Gone); it highlighted Affleck's directorial prowess; Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) gives another amazing performance; it's authentic and thrilling...And yes, it's all those things, but it's definitely not a night out on the town. It's a slow-paced drama that left my mind wandering.
I can't definitively state whether this movie is authentic, but it's seems so. From the accents to the Red Sox fan-gear, this movie, like all of Affleck's other creatively-helmed movies (Good Will Hunting, Gone Baby Gone), is an ode to working-class Boston. In this case, it's about a band of brothers (in the figurative) that also moonlight as a bank-robbing crew. Unfortunately, they've got Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and the rest of the FBI on their trail.
The Town turns in pretty great ensemble performances by Affleck and Hamm. Affleck's character is a more serious version of his Good Will Hunting character, and is a bank robber with a heart of gold, so the audience roots for him. And Hamm, as the lead FBI agent on the case, attacks his role with such ferocity that he makes cops look bad. But the performances by Renner and Blake Lively (Gossip Girl) should be the most lauded. Renner plays the violent, working-class Bostonion so well that I would pee in my pants if I ever came across him. And Lively plays so against type as the drug addled mother, complete with Boston accent, that I have to commend her performance.
All in all, this movie plods in pace. Yes, there's action and romance, but I'm not sure it lives up to the hype. The Town may be a case where the word on the street raised the bar so high that the reality could never measure up. My Grade: B-