Massachusetts Daily Collegian

‘The Town’ brings Hollywood close to home

By Ian Winship

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It’s always exciting to see places from your day-to-day life in a Hollywood movie . Now take that excitement and add bank heists, car chases, and intense gun fights and you have the “The Town.”

As a Massachusetts resident, it is hereby your job to go see this movie. It is simply oozing with Boston pride, but don’t let that be the only reason you go, because this movie has a lot to offer.

The story follows Ben Affleck, an experienced bank robber, planning out his next big job. You get thrown into this movie immediately while Doug MacRay, played by Affleck, and his crew rob a bank smack dab in the middle of Harvard Square.

In an unexpected turn of events, one of the crazier crew members, Jeremy Renner playing James Coughlin, takes a woman hostage. They end up leaving her unharmed.

After the job is done the group of robbers decide to follow the woman to make sure she has no way of identifying (and therefore giving up) any of the masked bank robbers from the job. MacRay ends up taking this duty over and, against better judgment, starts to date the hostage, Claire Keesey, who is played by Rebecca Hall. This decision is one that will change MacRay’s life forever.

“The Town” is action packed. It is set in Charlestown, Mass., which has the highest level of bank robberies in America, according to the movie.

“The Town” does not upset. There are a lot of robberies in this movie. Where some movies might build up to one big job that happens after three quarters of the film is spent in planning, this movie starts with a job, ends with a job, and has plenty in-between.

There were also a lot of gunfights throughout the film, and they were done well. These violent scenes are what one might imagine when one thinks of normal guys trying to fight it out with the police. There aren’t any ridiculous scenes that you sometimes find in other action movies that have people asking, “What just happened?”

Now don’t get me wrong, action is great, but this movie actually has a story. There is a lot of drama. There are relationship conflicts, not just between ex-lovers, but best friends and new lovers too.

Character development is also put together well. Everyone has their own story, and these stories are not simple. Everyone is important to what is going on in the film. Not only do you see thrilling and dramatic scenes, but there is also a good deal of laughs to be had.

You know those movies where you find yourself immersed in the story and it doesn’t matter what is going on around you? This is one of those movies.

Now it’s clear this is a quality film, but it’s only fair to talk about the negatives as well. The big problem with the film is the overuse of a particular set of shots. They use a lot of aerial shots of Charlestown and Boston for transition scenes. They also use a lot of time-lapse shots of clouds above the cityscape. There is nothing wrong with these shots. They actually look pretty cool. These particular shots were just too similar to one another and were merely overused.

Other than these minor complaints, this movie is definitely worth a watch.

Ian Winship can be reached at [email protected].

Correction: This article was originally published saying that “The Town” took place in Cambridge, Mass. The film is actually based in Charlestown, Mass.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “‘The Town’ brings Hollywood close to home”

  1. Boston Pride on September 20th, 2010 8:13 am

    The movie was set in Charlestown, a neighborhood in Boston, not Cambridge. Hence the name “The Town”.

  2. Reviewer on September 20th, 2010 2:37 pm

    Wow! What an inspired film review.

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