directed by Ben Affleck
When he wants to, Ben Affleck can put on one hell of a show. Good Will Hunting (acting). Armageddon (acting, and I dare you to disagree, haters!). Hollywoodland (acting, with a vengeance). Shit, even Kevin Smith was onto something when he (through his iconic Jay) declared that Ben was the bomb in Phantoms (he was right, and Liev Schrieber was also spectacular in that b film gem). He also had a kickass name in Phantoms, btw. In Gone, Baby Gone, Affleck showed us that he could very well have the directing chops necessary to go places. In The Town, BA is totally BA both behind the camera and in front of it, creating a realistically tension filled crime drama that vehemently resists cliché (until the end, which I can forgive). Affleck is bad friggin ass as Doug, brains behind a gang of robbers that don’t fuck around. When one of his crew nabs bank manager Claire (the ever amazing Rebecca Hall) as a hostage, it’s up to Doug to track her every move and see if she is a liability. The problem is that Doug develops a thing for Claire that threatens to implode the crew and his chances to get out of Charlestown. Jeremy Renner is a gritty, glowing mess as Jem, who will hold court in the street before doing another stint in the clink. Renner can rage internally like no one’s business (see The Hurt Locker, immediately), a true joy to watch onscreen, and Affleck regulars Slaine and Titus Welliver make tremendous acting look effortless. Peter Postelwaithe and Chris Cooper should be proud of their Duvall-esque turns in The Town, making very much of very little, and holy shit, Blake Lively! You need to show us more of that, all the time. Affleck even co wrote the screenplay with Peter Craig, and it seems that, while little Affleck may have inherited the stronger acting gene, Benjamin Geza (yep, I just middle named BA) here has the crazy directing skills that demonstrate all the qualities of an already strong filmmaker who will only grow stronger with time.
P.S. Is “Go fuck yourself” the official saying of South Boston?