Movie: The Town

Not long ago, I reviewed Chuck Hogan’s excellent crime novel Prince of Thieves and recommended you read it before going to see Ben Affleck’s film adaptation, retitled The Town.  Now I’ve seen Ben Affleck’s film adaptation The Town and recommend you read Chuck Hogan’s excellent crime novel first.

Crummy Poster. Good Film Though.

Which is not to say I didn’t like the movie.  I did.  It’s good.  A small, tough, beautifully acted little crime film.  Ben Affleck gives an excellent star performance as chief good-bad guy Doug MacRay.  Jeremy Renner gives a performance as his psycho buddy that’s so good it seems almost supernatural.  You hate and fear Renner the minute he comes on screen but at the same time you see him from his own point of view, wholly justified in his murderous craziness.  Pretty amazing.  And Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm, in a thankless role as a hard-boiled FBI Agent, does his duty well.

My criticisms:  Affleck made a choice in cutting back Hamm’s part that makes the entire picture smaller than it needed to be.  The action’s not as sensational as in the book – and usually, with movies, it’s the other way around.  Plus the female lead, a weak spot in the book, remains a weak spot here.

It’s no Heat, I know, you don’t have to tell me.  But it’s sharp and entertaining and worthwhile.  I hope it brings Affleck back into style.  He’s got a lot to offer.

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  • Bea M. Garcia

    Andrew, so I took your advice, headed down to Fulham library to check-out Prince of Thieves. I read it 24 hours. (Unemployment has its benefits.) Great read. I saw the movie the day it opened. Yes, yes, & yes to your insights/criticisms.

    In the book you can really feel the inner war in the chief good-bad guy Doug MacRay; Ben Affleck knocked it out of the park.

    Jeremy Renner is a hottie which must be skewing my view of his performance, either that or the guy just mesmerizes.

    I might be the only human being alive to have never watched an episode of Mad Men (yes, that pesky unemployment thing again) so it was good to see Mr. Hamm’s talent. The talk with Krista in the bar is unnerving.

    The female lead is indeed weak. I could see (in the film) that MacRay was smitten with Claire but continue to wonder why. She is a lovely looking lady but is that all it takes?

    All in all, great book, good movie.

    Mr. Affleck has skills and I trust He will not allow the Hollywood establishment to overly influence good story-telling.

    Andrew, as usual, on form.