Victoria Jelinek

The Town
October 17, 2010, 3:19 pm
Filed under: Published film reviews | Tags: , , , , ,

After a heist, professional thief Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) keeps an eye on bank manager Claire, the only witness who could identify MacRay’s gang.  The couple fall in love with each other, and as FBI agent Jon Hamm (Mad Men) closes in on him, McCray begins to question the life he’s been leading.

This is Affleck’s second directorial feature after the critically acclaimed Gone Baby Gone. The themes aren’t particularly original – bad guys wanting to change their ways, kidnapper getting involved with his hostage, a neighbourhood ruled by a criminal fraternity – but Affleck has a feel for the one-square mile district in Boston that accounts for 300 robberies a year and where even children can spot undercover cops.

The film jumpstarts with a slick, well-practiced robbery, but none of the action is overblown, and while the fights are brutal, they’re also always believable. This is a fantastic crime thriller and drama, with pitch-perfect performances, that serves as confirmation of Affleck’s ability as a director.

Remember me

Rebellious and sensitive New York rich kid Tyler (Robert Pattinson, Twilight) picks up Ally, a working class kid from Queens, on a dare. Little does he know that he’ll fall madly in love with her, creating a situation that will force their respective family traumas to the surface.

Despite their different upbringing, each has serious father issues: he thinks his big shot father doesn’t give a damn, and she’s burdened by an overprotective father who’s a city cop. And both of them have serious trauma from their past: for him, the suicide of his brother, and for her, the murder of her mother.

With a few months free from acting as the agonised teenage vampire Edward Cullen, Pattinson undoubtedly wants to prove himself in a more serious film. Whatever your opinion is of The Twilight Saga, there is much in this film to be impressed about, though Pattinson may not be at the forefront of your mind – he plays the role well in the sense that he’s mopey and distant, but he’s pretty much the same character as when he plays the vampire. That aside, while the story is arguably clichéd, it’s played with conviction, and it’s a loving tour of both the wealthy lanes and the seedier branches of New York City.