Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Town

is one of those films that divides crowds. If you don't like movies filled with people you would never want as friends, you will hate this one. If, on the other hand, you don't need any of the characters to be good, then you'll find The Town to be a satisfying entertainment.

At its core, this is another of those "bad guy turns good through the love of a good woman" stories that you have to suspend disbelief to swallow. Why does the obviously educated bank manager love the rock-breaking Boston roughie? Whatever do they talk about? Don't ask; just accept that they're together.

Once you do that, though, the plot will carry you along at a suitably fast pace, and the ride will be fun. All the actors deliver strong, if occasionally scene-chewing, performances. Ben Affleck is a solid lead and has a great physical presence (though the fact that after one initial shot of his sculpted body he spent the rest of the movie in over-sized clothes annoyed some of the women in our group). Rebecca Hall uses her character's understandable vulnerability to almost--almost--sell the relationship with Affleck. Jeremy Renner creeps up the screen in every shot, and Jon Hamm's FBI agent is almost as much a thug as Renner.

The Town is good enough that I raised some critical objections--something I would never bother to do with, say, Machete, which I still loved for its bad campy self--but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Definitely check it out.

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