365 High-Def Days of Oscar: Day 144
Release Year: 2010
Best Supporting Actor
THE PLOT THUS FAR
Ben Affleck follows his acclaimed Gone Baby Gone directorial debut by directing, co-writing and starring in a taut thriller about robbers and cops, friendship and betrayal, love and hope and escaping a past that has no future. He plays Doug MacRay, leader of a Boston bank robber gang but not cut from the same cloth as his fellow thieves. When Doug falls into a passionate romance with the bank manager (Rebecca Hall) briefly taken hostage in their last heist, he wants out of this life and out of the town. As the Feds close in and the crew questions his loyalty, he has one of two choices: betray his friends or lose the woman he loves.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
Doug MacRay (Affleck) and his buddy Jim (Renner) and a couple others pull off a bank job in the opening scene, but when it doesn’t go exactly as planned, they’re forced to kidnap the bank manager. To make sure she didn’t see anything and can hand them on a platter to the feds, Doug trails her, only to find himself falling for her.
“The Town” is one of those crime dramas/bank-job action films that while not revelatory for the genre, executes everything well and sticks to a character-driven story in order to stay meaningful. Perhaps the reason it works so well is because it floats in between the drama, never becoming too much of a guns ‘n robbers flick, but also not slipping into crime melodrama for too long. Affleck’s performance as MacRay acts in accordance; it’s tastefully understated and he lets go of the machismo that has marred a few of his previous roles.
The film also has an unexpected but much appreciated sense of humor. In a mile-a-minute crime drama/thriller, you don’t expect to laugh the way you will in “The Town,” which speaks even more to the writing and Affleck’s versatility. Even if there are some plot conventions and no-surprise characters…the dialogue is sharp, the story is exciting and the way we are so easily able to see things from MacRay’s perspective as the bank robber who wants out makes up for any use of convention as a crutch.
The Blu-Ray comes with two cuts of the movie, commentaries, featurettes and DVD/Digital Copy. The DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track is damn near reference quality. Plus, you have an amazing transfer that is only upstaged by the longer cut released just a few weeks ago. Truly, this is Affleck’s finest work. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!