by David Schuster
Thank God summer is turning to fall for a couple of reasons. We can soon put both baseball teams in the rear view mirror and the same is true for the summer movies. I can't remember a summer that had so many duds and disappointments. So with that in mind, and Labor Day recently past, we can look forward to (hopefully) a better blend of Autumn flicks. "The Town" is a step in the right direction. Far from flawless, but it will keep your interests and it has some good performances in it.
"The Town" is a crime caper which takes place in the heart of Boston. Ben Affleck makes his second directing stab while also being in the lead role. He is the leader of a gang of bank robbers that the cops know well but can't seem to reign in.
In one heist the gang takes a female hostage who the FBI eventually leans on for information. Affleck then takes it upon himself to see if she knows anything since the robbers all wore masks. The way Affleck and Rebecca Hall meet up is cheesy but soon they are item and Hall initially is unaware that this is the guy who held up her bank.
Along the way there are numerous shoot em up scenes with the robbers out gunning seemingly the entire police force (not believable) and a few chase scenes that Hollywood loves to produce. The movie was a bit too long at just over two hours but Affleck and Jeremy Renner (Hurt Locker) are confrontational and good in their roles. Chris Cooper makes a cameo and, as always, steals the scene in his brief time on camera.
The final heist in this movie is the gang pulling off a robbery of Fenway Park and the first thought that came to my mind was this was the biggest heist on those hallowed grounds since Bucky Dent hit that famous home run to crush the Red Sox.
The ending was somewhat predictable and reminded me a bit of "The Shawshank Redemption." This movie is no where on par with that fantastic cinematic brilliance but "The Town" was still mildly entertaining and I give it a run-scoring double - two and a half stars.