Sunday, July 17, 2011

Movie Review: The Town

So, I wanted to do a review of the new (and last) Harry Potter movie after seeing it but thanks to the worst migraine I’ve had in longer than I can remember that didn’t happen. But I did watch a movie I’ve been wanting to see for some time so I’m gonna write about that.

This movie was ‘The Town’ which got very good reviews upon initial opening, led to a nomination for best supporting actor in the Oscars and overall looked like something I wanted to see cause I’m generally into heist movies.

And as heist movies go, it wasn’t half bad. It starts off with a heist which displays the skill level of the main protagonists and makes you root for them despite the fact that they’re bad guys in terms of robbing banks, assault and kidnapping. And then it does a good job of setting up the main antagonist: Don Draper (who is actually Jon Hamm but will always be Don Draper to me) comes in as the FBI agent assigned to these types of cases and you can tell from the start that he is seriously committed to his job and will inevitably be a problem for these guys.

Thanks to his information you get a pretty good sense of the neighborhood these guys come from, a little section of Boston known as Charlestown, which he states focuses more bank robbers per capita than just about anywhere (which apparently was accurate for a breif time in the mid 90’s). He tells the story of grandfathers and fathers passing it down to sons and grandsons the same way you’d learn skilled labor. And the characters (primarily the guy nominated for best supporting actor) do give you a good feel for this neighborhood not giving a guy many other options.

The plot overall flowed pretty smoothly, the robberies are pretty satisfying, and Mr. Draper is great as the FBI agent who will do anything- including going after the best friend’s sister- to get his man.

But overall, I couldn’t help but compare it to another heist movie that is just epically more awesome and wishing it was that. That movie is, of course, Heat. I know it’s not fair to compare Ben Affleck to Bobby and Al but it seemed like it was trying pretty hard to set up the same type of scene- the robber trying to pull off one more big job before he leaves town for good with his new girlfriend, the crew following him to end of the world, the cop chasing him with everything he’s got. There were just too many similarities not to look to Heat and Heat was too good of a movie not to make this one pale in comparison.

So, my final recommendation is, if you’re a heist movie aficionado you should definitely see it but keep your expectations low. And if you’re just in the mood for some cops and robbers shooting at each other it’s definitely a good way to spend your evening.

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