Watching The Town, I was concerned at the start when my main focus was on which Boston sports team would be on Ben's next track jacket (the Pats must be upset that none of their gear was ever on display). And it takes an hour to shake the Don Draper off of Jon Hamm's FBI agent (it finally happens when he wears a particularly unfortunate flannel shirt).
But enough about the clothes--this is a thriller about bank robbers, after all! As the pre-credit titles inform us, The Town is Charlestown, where there's more men working with submachine guns and Skeletor masks than anywhere else in the world. In case we might forget where we are, a hundred or so helicopter establishing shots of the Bunker Hill Monument help us remember.
Director Ben Affleck chose Ben Affleck to star as Doug, a gifted bank robber who's (spoiler alert!) also a pretty swell guy. His partner is Jim (Jeremy Renner, very at home and more comfortably trashy than Affleck), his ex is Jim's sister Krista (Blake very Lively) and his boring new girlfriend is Claire (Rebecca Hall), an employee of a bank he robbed.
Despite all demurrals, I'd recommend the film. It's well-cast (with fine additional work by Chris Cooper and Pete Postlethwaite in what I understand to be flawless Northern Irish accent). It has my best ever chase scene starring a minivan. And it steals the ending of The Shawshank Redemption so neatly that I had to tip my hat. If only Ben's bearded Florida revelry were interrupted by Blake Lively approaching on a canoe, asking where she could score some Oxy...