The Town (Ben Affleck, 2010)

It happens in broad daylight
“The Town” by Ben Affleck (2010)

Charlestown, a rough neighborhood of Boston: After a robbery, Doug (Ben Affleck), the head of an ice-cold gangster group, falls in love with an employee (Rebecca Hall) of the robbed bank. Above all, his hot-blooded partner Jem (Jeremy Renner) does not like this, especially since the gang is increasingly being targeted by FBI man Frawley (Jon Hamm). Doug is in a dilemma: is he keeping the amorous entanglement going? Does he stay loyal to his buddies and the other concrete heads of the Irish-born mafia? And how does he deal with the approaching investigators?

“The Town, after” Gone Baby Gone “Ben Affleck’s second directorial work, is a coup. Who would have thought that the young star would one day have such a feel for genre cinema? The three robberies, as large-scale action sequences at the beginning, middle and end of the film, are charged with a high level of kinetic energy. Affleck repeatedly accelerates the film with extreme changes in pace, for example when it suddenly changes from a romantic dialogue into a massive staged house search. Affleck’s dynamism will be particularly appreciated by those who still have the clumsy ending of Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” in mind.

In addition, the film is very well cast. Jon Hamm, the star of the television series “Mad Men”, proves that he does not only look good on the small screen. The vulnerable Rebecca Hall shows a sophistication like few actresses of her generation. Jeremy Renner, once again balancing on the verge of madness, is increasingly following in the footsteps of Sean Penn. And even Ben Affleck now has a few rough edges. In addition, Pete Postlethwaite and Chris Cooper are two weathered character heads that cannot be seen often enough.

But that’s not all: Cleverly Affleck puts a few thoughts about urban change in his mixture of thriller and caper movie . What is left of a city when it is occupied by a homeless Yuppie shift? And vice versa: What use are all the glowing identity confessions of the tough guys if they only bring ruin to their city? In an epigraph, Affleck quotes a resident of Charlestown: the district has ruined him – and yet he is proud of his origins. The epilogue could be: Being smart means turning your back on your home at the right moment.

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