Friday, 17 June 2011

THE TOWN

Yesterday, I finally watched "The Town" - a 2010 film starring Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm and Blake Lively. I've been desperate to see it since I saw the first advert for it at least a year ago (nuns with scary masks made me think of "The Dark Knight" for reasons that I can't explain because I don't really understand them myself) but only just got around to watching it. I have to say, I'm glad I waited for the DVD to be reduced to a fiver.

It's not a bad film. It's pretty watchable, and there wasn't a point during it that I thought, "Well, I'd cut that bit for a start," which is something I've been thinking with a lot of films recently. I blame studying film theory for a semester, it's ruined my ability to enjoy films. I seem to only be able to watch with my writer-head on.

The film starts well, a good action sequence to get things moving, but then it slows down a lot. I didn't mind that, I think it got the balance between bank-robbing and falling-in-love-with-the-bank-manager just right, but I did have a couple of fairly major problems with the film.

1 - I was at least half an hour into the film when I realised I didn't know what anybody's names were. Not a one. Okay, that's a lie. I knew Rebecca Hall's character was called Claire, but it was the shock of hearing her name so suddenly that I noticed I hadn't heard anyone else's.

2 - And this is a biggie. I couldn't understand a word that any of them were saying. The mumbling was ridiculous. So then I put the subtitles on, and I still didn't really get what was going on, because I'm not familiar with Boston street slang. So I was very grateful when Jon Hamm's character took a minute to explain literally everything that was going on, because otherwise I would have been lost. I hate when films think they need to explain to their audience what's going on, but "The Town" really needed it.

And then...well, I don't want to give away the ending (in case my review hasn't put you off watching it), but it wasn't what I expected. Which I always appreciate in a film. And it was nice to see Blake Lively playing someone other than Serena Van Der Woodson, she might have given the most impressive performance. The only other competitor would be Jeremy Renner, but I've never seen him in anything else, making it hard to judge this performance.

So, yeah, not a bad film, but I would advise putting the subtitles on from the start, just in case.

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