EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|TOWN, THE (director/writer: Ben Affleck; screenwriters: Peter Craig/Aaron Stockard/based on the novel “Prince of Thieves” by Chuck Hogan; cinematographer: Robert Elswit; editor: ; music: Harry Gregson-Williams/David Buckley; cast: Ben Affleck (Doug MacRay), (Claire Keesey), (Adam Frawley), (James Coughlin), (Krista Coughlin), Slaine (Gloansy Magloan), Owen Burke (Desmond Elden), Titus Welliver (Dino Ciampa), (Fergie Colm), Dennis McLaughlin (Stephen MacRay); Runtime: 125; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Graham King; ; 2010)|
|"Solid but superficial and troubling amoral
action-packed crime thriller."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Ben Affleck ("Gone Baby Gone") stars in, cowrites and directs this solid
but superficial and troubling amoral action-packed crime thriller that
follows to the letter the conventions of those recent TV crime shows
like “CSI: Miami”
and “CSI: New York.”
The 'crime does pay' ending and the beastly unreal romance between a
confused woman and the supposedly 'reformed by love' now sensitive thug
who abused her seemed to be a Hollywood reach, especially since this
same violent criminal treats the druggie woman () who had his baby like dirt.
It's based on the
novel “Prince of Thieves” by Chuck Hogan, winner of the 2005 Hammett Prize
for excellence in crime writing. The title
refers to Boston’s working-class Charlestown neighborhood which –
to the film’s prologue – has the most carjackers and bank
robbers in the United States. Writers Peter Craig and Aaron Stockard capture the
local flavor of the newcomer yuppie (gentrifying outsiders) and
old-timer 'townie' blue-collar
Charlestown community. It tells of four lifelong
criminal friends--Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck), James 'Jem" Coughlin (), Gloansy Magloan (Slaine) and Desmond Elden (Owen Burke)-- who
are bank robbers armed with automatic weapons and are being hunted by
the persistent FBI agent Adam
Doug MacRay is the brains of
the ruthless gang. The lad's bank robbing father (Chris Cooper) is now serving a life term
in prison. When Doug was 6 his mom disappeared, and he was raised by
Jem's parents. During the robbery of a local bank Jem, the brother of
Doug's girlfriend and a volatile thug just out of prison after serving
a nine-year stretch for manslaughter, takes the young female bank
manager, Claire Keesey (,
British actress), of a Cambridge
hostage as a bargaining
chip when cops arrive
at the scene after the alarm sounds and releases her unharmed but
emotionally distraught after taking her for a scary ride blindfolded.
This kidnapping act brings FBI agents Frawley
and Dino Ciampa (Titus
Welliver) into the case, who question Claire and make her even more
frightened by the cold way they question her.
When the gang discover that
Claire lives in their Charlestown neighborhood, to make sure she won't
talk Doug keeps tabs on her and manages to pickup the vulnerable single
woman at the local laundrymat. She quickly falls for the thuggish
tattooed hunky Doug, who passes himself off as a simple construction
worker. While Claire and Doug begin a real romantic relationship, the
gang's vicious boss Fergie
Colm (), who runs a
flower shop and was also the crime boss of Doug's father, orders the
boys to rob the
concession stand haul at
Fenway Park after a Red Sox game.
The action scenes are very
well done and the acting is fine, but the film is hollow and
forgettable. It also left a sour taste in my mouth because it lacked
emotional credibility and had a questionable moral value.
REVIEWED ON 9/19/2010 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ