Driver’s name is Arthur Shea. Former Metro Police officer, fifty-seven years old. Soon as his partner leaves with the coal bag, Artie cracks a Herald, and he don’t look up ’til the guy gets back. Marty Maguire. Cummins Armored courier. Five-ten, two-twenty, fifty-two years old. Picks up every Wednesday and Friday at exactly 8:12, makes a hundred and ten dollars a day, carries a Sig nine. And he’s about to get robbed.
The Town actually exceeded my expectations (I’m now disregarding Ben Affleck’s character that seemed fake). It’s a solid, entertaining criminal drama with some great performances (Jeremy Renner!!) and interesting heist-film glimpses.
In the Boston neighbourhood Charlestown ,supposedly “the bank robbery capital of America” (this is disputed though, statistics show that the whole state of Massachussetts has less than 3% of the country’s bank robberies, and the Boston police seems to imply that the contribution of Charlestown towards Bostons robberies merely 2% (read the article here.)) we meet 4 young Irishmen, friends since birth, that get their living from robbing banks and carriers. Doug MacRay (played by Ben Affleck) is the lead architect planning the robberies. All is going well the money’s in the bags, but the police arrive earlier than thought so the group snatches with them a hostage, the bank manager Claire Keesey (played by Rebecca Hall). They let her go, but Doug is forced to follow her to see if she’s talking to the FBI. One thing leads to another, Doug falls in love with her (LOLZ) and wants to change his life to be with her in Florida. He just needs to do this one last big heist (hitting the ‘Boston Cathedral’ aka. the Boston Red Sox arena, Fenway Park) to score 500,000 for ‘the Florist’ (by Pete Postlethwaite, who’s a great English actor).
Of course the heist goes wrong and Doug needs to figure out how Claire and him can be together when she’s surrounded by police, and if she even wants to forgive him for his robbing ways. Not taking into account the cheesyness of Ben Affleck’s Doug (bad man with a good heart) i thought the film was really good. I love it when you don’t feel like you’re watching a 2-hour film, but a 40min episode of your favourite show. Besides being entertaining, with a solid plot it made some strides forward with a few great characters.
Jeremy Renner (who got an Oscar nod for his role in The Hurt Locker) plays James Coughlin, a ganger who served 9 years in prison for murder. He comes off intimidating, creepy and strong, and gave this movie some reality to it by being both acting-wise and story-wise a tough characterisation of what a bad neighbourhood does to you. I adore him, and hope to see him in more films (I believe he’s just getting started with his career really).
All in all, The Town is very recommendable both as an entertaining action/drama and a depiction of the social state where crime drives the people and family is the most important thing.
8 / 10