“It’s a town full of losers. And I’m pulling out of here to win.”-Born to Run
The Town‘s “critically” acclaimed director, Ben Affleck, earned enough praise from his Gone Baby Gone debut that this time around he’s confident enough to add a co-writer and lead actor cred too. Set in blue-collar Charlestown, Massachusetts, the “bank robbery capital of America” you’d think these bankers and FBI agents would have had surveillance or some better locks (it’s called kryptonite!) or that these gangsters would have to be a team of Ocean 11 charmers. Alas, no. The film starts off with habit masked trick or treaters, douche-bag Dougy MacRay (Ben Affleck), a reborn recovering alcoholic/drug abuser and “mastermind,” and homeboy, wildcard Jem Coughlin (Jeremy Renner), holding up and pointlessly kidnapping “toonie” bank teller, Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall), who upon her release is questioned by pretty boy FBI agent, Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm). Which poses threat to these townies when they find that in this one square mile town Claire lives around the corner. So Dougy decides to creep and ask Claire out to after taking pity on her crying in a laundromat over some blood stains.
Nothing like a Dunkin Donuts to charm the pants off a girl eh? Followed by a series of confessions about tortured pasts, “My mother left…,” “My Brother died,” these two skip the small talk and fall fast as Dougy is inspired by her volunteer gardening and assistant teaching to give up the robbing business for good.
Ben admits to wanting to do this script so that he could play the part, but picked the most pathetic of them and is out-shined by Rener who proves he can act outside The Hurtlocker, and John Hamm, who plays Don Drapper, showing no sympathy for anyone and doing whatever it takes to take down these ruffians. Even Blake Lively, who Ben wanted to “give the opportunity to surprise people as a talented actress,” adds a Boston accent to her skank whore role from Gossip Girl, to Ben’s lap. But other than that and some good car chases these Boston track suit wearing townies are leaving a story as dull as it’s title.
“Uh oh B. This just in; life isn’t a fairy tale, and happy endings are few and far between. Forget a grand entrance – Everyone knows that it’s the exit they’ll remember. XOXO” – Gossip Girl