Is it possible for a full time cutthroat professional thief to become tired of the life he lives and just give it all up? According to Doug MacRay, you can. Pulling too many jobs means the more heat there is on the crew. The more heat there is, the more unhappy the bosses are because of less work. Frankly, Doug doesn’t give a f*** about what anyone thinks, until the wildcard comes into play by the way of the bank manager hostage Claire. Claire is the beginning of the end for Doug and James not only as partners but as brothers. The rush you feel in the opening truck heist sets the tone for this crime movie. These guys are professionals and that’s evident by knowing the absolute minute details (when the time lock goes off, to check for dye packs, take the tapes, and knowing everything about their targets). They’re a crew and they work well together, they’re smart, not your average lone person who thinks they are smart enough but will always leave a trace back to them and eventually get caught. Much to the rest of the crews disapproval James takes a hostage and I love the line Doug give “so, we’re taking hostages now?” There is a clear power struggle that goes on between Doug and James throughout that indicates the good times are just about over. Doug takes the role to follow Claire and make sure nothing goes wrong. Then, the unexpected thing happens, Doug starts to date the one person that could identify them. That’s a big mistake when James finds out and causes a rift between the two.
Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) and James Coughlin (Jeremy Renner) star as Charlestown bank robber lifers. Doug’s father, Stephen MacRay (Chris Cooper) is doing time for a murder and has a very broken relationship with Doug. The reason being Stephen lying about where Doug’s mother has been after walking out on them. Claire (Rebecca Hall) is the bank manager/ girlfriend match that blows everything up, figuratively speaking. The scene where the Doug and James go to that apartment is a defining moment that although the two may be on different pages they are still down for each other and have each other’s backs. Pulling these truck jobs does get them on FBI radar, unfortunately to them. FBI agent Adam Frawley (John Hamm) quickly becomes hot on the crew’s trail and will stop at nothing to bring them down. Add In James’ junkie sister (Blake Lively) and Doug’s ex to add more drama to the story. All these characters are a mix for a disaster ready to blow.
Of course, hiding relationships is never easy especially when Claire catches a glimpse of the Fighting Irish tattoo on James’ neck after the first job. When first seeing this movie, I wondered how Doug would try and hide the tattoo at the pizza place; Doug basically grabs James by the neck and gently tosses him away which I never expected. Even though so much planning goes into these heists, things do go wrong that the crew cannot expect, taking a hostage, alarms, police tip offs. The way the crew adapt to the circumstances is impressive since they’re a small group. The cherry on top to each of these heists are the disguises the crew use, the nuns were my personal favorite. I especially liked once they put those masks on and the little boy sees Doug with the automatic weapon in his hand. That slow-motion shot gets me every time I watch this film.
Just like in majority of crime films the main crew always has an unhinged trigger-happy member, that so happens to be James. He puts the crew at risk (beating the first bank manager with his rifle, shooting one of the truck drivers, and shooting that other guy in the leg who was cat calling Claire) whereas Doug likes to do things in a more peaceful way but not kill anyone or take anyone hostage; basically he doesn’t like leaving a trace. How the FBI agent Frawley comes to be on their trail is the employment records of Desmond (Own Burke) working as a technician at Vericom. Once you get on the FBI’s radar, your freedom isn’t lasting too much longer. The blood pumping final heist actually has you rooting for the bad guys to win, though Doug is the least awful at this point.
I really enjoy this movie, it’s one of my favorite crime movies. Obviously, it’s no Godfather or Goodfellas but, it’s a damn good movie. Ben is one if not favorite actor / director combination (Argo F*** yourself). Not only the acting but the heavy Boston accents couldn’t have been executed better. I love the relationship between Ben and Jeremy, their chemistry plays well whenever the two are on screen together, even when they fight each other. Another thing that is executed flawlessly the action. If the action doesn’t move the story forward then the film suffers, meaning it was a weak script. This film showcases Ben’s ability to be a great director the way he planned and shot the car chase sequence through the narrow Boston streets. Another thing that catches my eye is the verisimilitude throughout. Watching the film, you actually believe these professional thieves could exist in the bank robbing capital of the United States. If I were to rate this on a scale of 1-5, I’d give The Town a 4.2, its THAT good. I love a good thriller film, add to it the crime aspect and phenomenal performances (Jeremy Renner got a supporting actor nod) and I’m sold 12 times out of 10.
So, tell me guys, have you seen The Town and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.
The Town was written by Ben Affleck, Peter Craig, Aaron Stockard and directed by Ben Affleck is Rated R and has a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. The Town was released on September 17th, 2010 and has a runtime of 2 hours and 5 minutes.
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