The Town Message Board

mplo posts on 3/28/2014 7:27:04 PM The Town--Not all that it's cracked up to be: Ben Affleck's "The Town" had much potential for being a really good or even a great film that was possibly right up there with "West Side Story", but for all sorts of reasons, it fell way short of that potential. Ben Affleck is not really that great or talented an actor. He's far better at sidekicks than he is playing the role of the leading character, especially since he took on a dual job, when he had a falling-out with the former director of this particular film; Being behind the camera directing the film himself AND playing the role of the leading character. This clearly helped bring the movie standards down below its potential. A very poor to mediocre cast that made this film mostly unbelievable. The only characters that were really believable were Jeremy Renner, who played the role of Doug MacRay's right hand man and best friend, the crazed "Jem" Coughlin, and Jon Hamm as FBI Agt. Frawley. The Boston accents, imho, were way overdone, and quite phony, and the shoot-outs, particularly in the North End and the Fenway Park heists, were extremely over the top and unrealistic. In real life, nobody would've survived those shoot-outs; there would've been bloodied and broken bodies all over the place. It's hard to believe that Claire didn't have a clue as to who Doug really was and what he was up to; especially when he was grilling her about the robbery so intently and in such an interested manner. Also, in a more realistic way, Doug and his men wouldn't have been so sympathetic and/or nice to Claire, especially if she'd had any kind of neurological/development problems, or emotional problems. Ben Affleck was a bit too gentle and prissy to be believable as he played the role of Doug MacRay, and Claire was way too vapid (that's how she was in the book, as well. "The Town" promotes many stereotypes, as well; that Charlestown, MA, is chock-full of bank and armored car robbers, the so-called wholesome, princess-like girl who stole the heart of the leading local thug/thief, and the cops who were either incompetent or dishonest, or both. I disagree with the first review of "The Town" in this forum for yet another reason; that the audience is expected to sympathize with Doug MacRay who so badly wants to get out of the criminal enterprise business, but all he wants to do is to avoid going back to a Federal penitentiary, where he belongs. To make a longish story short, I admittedly was rooting for FBI Agt. Adam Frawley and the other law-enforcement people who were assigned to bring Doug MacRay and his career-crminal band down and sent to prison once and for all I wanted Doug MacRay and his men caught and sent to jail for a really long time. Claire, however, should've been criminally prosecuted, or at least put on a probation for being an accessory to Doug MacRay's crimes, and for helping to allow Doug to go as a free man, even after it was clear what his crime record was, by tipping Doug off with a "sunny days" code when the Feds, at Claire's condo, had set a trap for Doug, and were right on the verge of arresting him, having him tried/charged with his crimes, and being sent back to prison. The opening bank heist was interesting, as well as the opening aerial/ on the ground shots of Charlestown and Boston, MA, generally, but The Town, on the whole, went from being okay to being just plain a matter of minutes. Claire's not being honest, lying to the Feds about any identification on the thieves who robbed her at gunpoint while wearing masks, being caught red-handed in a romance with Doug by the Feds when they tapped her phone, and accepting expensive Tiffany jewelry and stolen blood money from Doug and spending money that wasn't hers to spend on the hockey rink renovation also put her in a really bad light, even though the robbery wasn't her fault. The ending of the film, in which Doug gets away, with the help of Claire and hides out in Florida, was, to me, a rather flat ending that helped ruin the film for me.
R.W. Hainline posts on 1/1/2012 R.W. Hainline has just written a review of The Town which you can see here

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