Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Town

So who remembers Good Will Hunting?
It might be the last time that Ben Affleck was watchable in a film that wasn't helmed by Kevin Smith. (Okay, I kind of liked Forces of Nature, too.)
It was also his big writing debut, with his buddy Matt Damon.
Seeing as how well that one worked out, you'd think Affleck would try it again.
He finally got back on that writing/acting bit with his new film, The Town which he also directs.
The comparisons to Clint Eastwood are a little drastic, but Affleck does a solid job with all three tasks.
The story is enjoyable, if a little clumsy with some dialogue. As a director, Affleck might be on to something. The Town is a big budget thriller that might be the impetus to get his career back toward directing after 2007's Gone Baby Gone didn't really make waves.
Being backed up by a cast like this couldn't hurt any director though. Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Jeremy Renner and Blake Lively all produce excellent performances as the most important people in Doug MacRay's (Affleck) life.
Renner is MacRay's best friend Coughlin and delivers the best performance of the film going all over the spectrum of lovable-misfit bad guy to just-plain-bad bad guy.
Blake Lively was also surprisingly good as Coughlin's sister and MacRay's former flame, Krista.
Some great minor roles filled by Chris Cooper and Pete Postlethwaite add some depth to the film.
Overall, this won't go down as one of the all-time great caper films like Heat, but it was a solid film that hopefully will lead to more Affleck at the helm, since he seems to be developing a knack for it.
The Town gets a B-
--John Berry, Online Editor--