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    December 25, 2010

    MOVIE REVIEW: THE TOWN

    THE TOWN (English/18)
    Genre: Drama/Crime/Thriller
    Release Date: 27 January 2011
    Distributor: Warner Bros.
    Running Time: 125 minutes
    Director: Ben Affleck
    Producers: Graham King, Basil Iwanyk
    Writers: Screenplay by Ben Affleck, Peter Craig, Aaron Stockard based on novel by Chuck Hogan
    Casts: Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Pete Postlethwaite
    Plot: Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) is an unrepentant criminal, the de facto leader of a group of ruthless bank robbers who pride themselves in stealing what they want and getting out clean. With no real attachments, Doug never has to fear losing anyone close to him. But that all changed on the gang's latest job, when they briefly took a hostage - bank manager, Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall). Though they let her go unharmed, Claire is nervously aware that the robbers know her name and where she lives. But she lets her guard down when she meets an unassuming and rather charming man named Doug, not realising that he is the same man who only days earlier had terrorised her. The instant attraction between them gradually turns into a passionate romance that threatens to take them both down a dangerous, and potentially deadly, path.

    THE VERDICT


    The Town marks the second directorial feature-length picture by Ben Affleck. His first effort came back in the year 2007, Gone Baby Gone opened with rave reviews and possibly giving him a name to be reckoned with. Do bear in mind, at that point of time, Affleck's career seems waning after several years of living under the wrong side of the entertainment lane. However,even at that dimmest point of his career, Gone Baby Gone gave him a sigh of relief. Ben Affleck has not only make a name of his own as an actor, but also cemented his true talents for directing and writing; in this case for The Town.

    The Town, a heist and crime drama that sets in Charlestown, Boston, where according to the its trailer, more than 300 bank robbery was reported annually (much to be speculated anyway). Four lifelong friends - Doug (Ben Affleck), Jem (Jeremy Renner), Gloansy (Slaine), and Dez (Owen Burke) decided to carry out a daring rob on a Cambridge bank while taking bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) hostage. After Claire's release, Doug follows her and they begin a relationship without Claire knowing that Doug was one fo the four. Right after their tails was FBI agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm) who surveils the crew and realizes that they work for "Fergie" Colm (Pete Postlethwaite), a local florist.


    Doug is hesitant to undertake their next assignment because he believed the authorities are getting closer on them. His fears are confirmed during the robbery in the North End, dressing in ala-Halloween nun costumes, their heist ended up in gunfire. The police arrive quickly, a chase ensues, and the team barely escapes. For their next assignment, Doug insists that he will not take part and he confesses to his imprisoned father, Stephen that he is going to leave Charlestown. Fergie warns that he will kill Claire if Doug does not do the job for which Doug reluctantly agrees. However, the heist that they planned goes wrong. What will be the fate of the fours?


    While it is not a truth, the movie depicts the neighborhood of Charlestown as a society with dark crime, violence and dysfunction family-ties. Life in Charlestown is rather straight-forward, either you earns a living on the good side or as the crooks. Also these occupations are rather inherited not by choice, usually passed down from generation to generation. One of them was Doug who has a passion for ice hockey but reluctantly bowed down by following his father's footsteps into the Boston's highly organized crime business. His mother has ran away from home since he was young. The rest of the story is something for you to look at.

    It comes to no surprise that Ben Affleck is not having some decent acting in The Town, but set a visionary sight on this project by nurturing the plot direction well as a director and as a screenwriter. The Town's screenplay is written by the trio of Affleck, Peter Craig and Aaron Stockard, which is itself adapted from Chuck Hogan's Prince of Thieves. There is no other better descriptions than to say that The Town is indeed a gripping and highly tensed crime drama. The concepts are highly valuable, mesmerizing and intriguing. The story grips and holds the audience with its high riddance of some top notch thriller, high quality of action and planned sequences. It is also solid, well engaged and stay on focus all the time. For the next two hours, The Town offers an excellent story-telling that elementary centralized on the story of Doug MacRay and his surrounding pretty much like how Chuck Hogan's novel is.


    For the acting sections, no one can tell how incredibly prefect each role fits into the characters. Doug (Affleck) represents a strong central character that we can root in, charmed by his swift persona of been smart, calm and a real architect on the heist mission. On the opposite site, Jem (Renner) provided a polarizing character that constantly ignites the conflict with his bad tempered and red-headed manners. Jom Hamm is also ingenious in his portrayal as Agent Frawley, a real badass that counterfeit the heist group and matching them at all space and threats. The acting department that comprises other characters like Claire (Hall) and Krista (Lively) were ambiguously wonderful.


    In the end of the day, The Town is not a mere cat and mouse hunting game and a simple crime thriller that robs your day off. The Town has a visionary sight with a focus plot, thick and tense right till the end. Ben Affleck manages to carry the movie well with a compelling direction and script writing that leaves a sensational tone and clear cut with clean action sequences. The Town in overall deserves a recognition for the upcoming tightly-contested Oscar season. The Town clearly redefines the genre of crime into another loop higher. In all, how can we do not love any crime drama that sets in Boston? Go figure!! After all, The Town is still couple notches below from been a great movie.

    THE RATING
    Story: 4.0 stars
    Casts: 4.0 stars
    Cinematography: 4.5 stars
    Effects: 4.0 stars
    OVERALL : 4.0 stars
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 16.3

    The Town will arrives in cinemas nationwide on 27 January 2011
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