The Town is a movie in which the bad guys are the main characters. They are bank robbers from a long line of bank robbers living in a district in Boston that is known for bringing forth many bank robbers. A trade that is basically handed down from father to son. Though most kids don’t have fathers in their lives because they are serving sentences for multiple decades if not life. Father should have become a baker or a florist instead.
The fact that we follow the lives of a small group of bank robbers makes it clear from minute one that this movie will probably not end well. It’s a trade involving machine guns and shoot outs with cops. Retirement can’t start as soon as possible.
Besides not only do we follow this crew, but also the investigation of the FBI by Don Draper himself. Mad Men’s John Hamm is Special Agent Frawley and has this crew in his sights pretty quickly, but still hasn’t enough for a conviction.
The key to that conviction might be Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) who during one robbery is taken hostage by the crew’s loose cannon Jem. They set her free but find out she lives in the neighborhood and so the crew gets a little jumpy because she might or might not be able to identify them. Jem wants to take her out but the leader of the crew, Doug (Affleck) starts tailing her and accidentally gets into a conversation with her. A spark ignites and they start seeing each other more and more, but Doug knows this relationship is doomed and isn’t sure what the crew will do when they find out.
The most tense scene takes place on a busy terrace when Jem suddenly walks in on the two enjoying each others company. Claire has let Doug know that she saw a tattoo in the neck of her captor, Jem of course, and here he is sitting 90 degrees turned to her. Whether she can see his tattoo depends on which way he is looking and if she is paying enough attention to him.
The whole scene could be described as running into your mistress while being out with the wife and it was one of the best scenes of the movie.
Because the movie revolves around these robbers I couldn’t escape a somewhat depressing feeling during the movie. Like I stated earlier, no matter which way this ends, people will die. People who this movie wants us to invest time in. This makes it for a somewhat unpleasant viewing. Not in terms of quality, because the movie is pretty good, and Ben Affleck’s acting didn’t annoy me once, but just the notion of watching something that is doomed, or at least gives a sense of doom makes this a movie you don’t just watch for two hours of entertaining escapism.
Director Affleck seems to be developing a knack for directing good and solid stories. After his debut Gone Baby Gone this is another well told, acted and directed story.