Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Film Review With Sam Larner

The Town (15)

The Town is a new film directed by Ben Affleck. It follows a group of bank robbers as they bank rob Boston.

The film starts with the group attempting to rob a bank. They’re successful but kidnap Rebecca Hall’s character who they then release. They realise that she lives just a few blocks away from them in Boston and realise that they need to deal with her. Fearing that the rest of the group may be considering killing her Ben Affleck decides to follow her, with predictable results.

The critics have rated this very highly, 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Mark Kermode said it was a good story but a bit too clichéd. I must admit I wasn’t that impressed with it. I thought it was perfectly watchable, there’s some great scenes, some very good chases in it, but I must admit my views aren’t entirely the same.

I think that the main problem is the film “The Departed”. Any film post “The Departed” about Boston blue collar gangs will invariably get compared to it, however especially a film this similar in plot and style. I don’t believe that “The Departed” is the masterpiece that its Oscars would suggest, however it is a more memorable film than this. It is very clichéd aswell, especially many of the bank robbing scenes.  Equally the scenes with Rebecca Hall and Ben Affleck are more charming and fun than the rest of the scenes and I did feel a bit annoyed that they didn’t focus more on a romantic style script.

The ending, for me, was a little too “Shawshank Redemption” and it did elicit a little chuckle from me as I watched the movie. It’s not a terrible movie any stretch of the imagination but it is fairly unmemorable. Rebecca Hall gives a very good performance as the slightly naive and vulnerable girl next door and Affleck is actually pretty good as the gang member who maybe wants out although maybe he's happy with the career he has at the moment. The best performance of the film, though, is undoubtedly Pete Posselthwaite as the scary Godftather type character who rules with an iron fist from a low budget florists in uptown Boston. I would encourage you to go see it, but I very much doubt that it will make much of an impact beyond the kind of fun popcorn Hollywood movies.

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