Ben Affleck gets a bad rap from critics and fanboys alike. The problem is a few years ago he had a year when he was over exposed and in 5 or 8 movies in one year, then he hooked up with J. Lo and that bread more contempt from moviegoers. Personally, I was never on the Affleck hate bandwagon, I thought he was good in Armageddon and I don’t get the hate for the Daredevil movie – it’s about what I would have expected from it, no it wasn’t a great movie but I didn’t think it was the worst thing since Ishtar either. Beyond over exposure, the other issue with Affleck is he can only play one type of character – The Boston “Southy”. That is his wheelhouse and he needs to stick with it for a while. Nowhere is this more evident than in his latest effort, the crime drama The Town.
The Town brings Affleck back to what he knows best – Boston, in all its glory and seediness. In the last few years I’ve become a crime drama fan, used to really hate the genre in movies and especially on television but in my old age I’ve come around. The Town is full of characters we’ve all seen before – the cop (Jon Hamm) who desperately wants to get the scary smart criminal. The criminal (Affleck) who can feel the heat and wants out – while the “gettins” good but can’t because his crew (headed up by Jeremy Renner) needs him for this one last score of a “lifetime.”
I’ve never got the concept of the “score of a lifetime,” bit. You’ve been a criminal all your life at some point I would think you would have learned how to save your pennies. But no, they never do. So the last big million-dollar haul is always too tempting to pass up. And yes there’s always a girl (Rebecca Hall) who comes between the crew and messes everything up because the mastermind can never focus on the big score and of course the cop always has to find the mastermind through the girl.
So no, The Town isn’t original in any sense of the word, but Affleck does a marvelous job executing all of the pieces. Affleck also gets to wear multiple hats – he shows off his directorial and writing skills here. The Town is one of the best movies of 2010 with a great cast of Actors headed up by Affleck himself.
Final Grade A
EM Review by
Originally posted by 10.24.2011