Gritty crime thriller The Town, Ben Affleck’s second outing in the director’s chair, is set in the Boston district of Charleston, which is apparently home to more bank and armoured car robbers than any other square mile in the world.
Affleck himself stars as the leader of a hardened crew of robbers and the film opens with a tense heist that doesn’t go exactly to plan and ends up with the masked gang briefly taking the bank manager hostage.
To stop his hot-tempered partner in crime Jem (played by Oscar-nominated Jeremy Renner from The Hurt Locker) taking more drastic measures, Affleck’s Doug MacRay decides to keep tabs on the manager, Rebecca Hall’s Claire, and ends up falling in love with her.
But with FBI agent Adam Frawley (Mad Men’s Jon Hamm) breathing down the gang’s neck and local crime kingpin Fergie (played by the late, Bafta-nominated Pete Postlethwaite) leaning on them to pull off another job, can Doug extricate himself from his criminal life and prevent Claire from finding out the truth?
The Town shares similarities with Michael Mann’s Heat, but isn’t in that film’s league. Nor is it as substantial as Affleck’s debut, Gone Baby Gone. But Affleck handles the action scenes with muscular heft and the performances are terrific – as is shown by the string of awards nominations the cast have picked up.
Released on Blu-ray & DVD.