The Town 2010 Movie Scene Ben Affleck as Doug and Jeremy Renner as James wearing police uniforms about to pull a heist

The Town [2010]

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what to do with these big movies. I mean, you’re surely going to hear about them and perhaps even go see them in a theater. So, there’s not much logic behind me recommending them to you. On the other hand, there are plenty of reasons why someone might skip this one. You could have a lot going on right now or you simply don’t like Ben Affleck for whatever reason. This is why I’m still going to talk about The Town, a solid heist movie taking place in the city of Boston. Now say Boston the way it’s meant to be pronounced, there you go, you’re already getting into the right mood.

This is a movie offering nothing new in terms of the storytelling, plot, or action sequences. You have your main characters, love interests, the usual conflicts, and stubborn cops trying to get our boys. The Town is actually based on Chuck Hogan’s novel Prince of Thieves. And exactly because of this, the characters simply pop out of the screen. Of course, the entire cast was excellent and they’re the other part of this equation. The equation that makes the movie offer something new after all. Although we might argue we’ve seen some of this stuff in movies like Family Business. Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling!

Only in this movie, it’s not Danny but Dougy we will be following. A strapping young lad who just happens to be a bank robber along with his three best friends. And this is exactly how the movie opens, with a bank robbery. Oh man, oh man, how do I love it when we open with a bang. It makes me more susceptible to going along any boring character development arc we’re going to be following next. However here, that is clearly not the case. I think that, in some way, The Town is similar to Heat, with the “heist trade” replaced by “Boston criminal hood heritage”. Even the structure is relatively the same complete with the timing of the heists and their outcomes for the most part. 

In the city of Boston, the Charlestown neighborhood is well known for its residents. They are mostly bank robbers that specialize in armored cars heists. And Doug MacRay is no exception to this rule. He and his friends that live in Charlestown, are like a brotherhood that protects its members no matter what. However, after one heist tempers will flare as they must decide what to do with a female witness that lives right there, in their neighborhood. They were forced to take her hostage in the heist and now that decision is proving to be quite wrong. While this is happening, the FBI is also looking into them…

Some aspects of The Town remind me of a highly underrated nineties thriller State of Grace. Sean Penn played the levelheaded guy there while Gary Oldman was this unhinged unguided missile. Just like Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner here. The atmosphere remains gritty and realistic throughout the two and a half hours of the director’s cut version of the movie. Which I highly recommend you check out instead of the theatrical one featuring a runtime of two hours.

Director: Ben Affleck

Writers: Peter Craig, Ben Affleck, Aaron Stockard

Cast: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Blake Lively, Titus Welliver, Pete Postlethwaite

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