The Town

Rated 3.0

Noble criminal Ben Affleck reluctantly leads a gang of blue-collah bank robbers, including a volatile Jeremy Renner, in Boston’s Charlestown, the bank-robbery capital of America. Then, with looming FBI agent Jon Hamm on his tail and neighborhood tough Pete Postlethwaite threatening his life, he falls in love with bank manager Rebecca Hall. No wonder he eventually declares, “I’m puttin’ this whole fuckin’ town in my reah view!” First, he’ll just need to knock off Fenway Park. This is not just a heist movie, director-star-co-writer Affleck wants you to know, but a character piece, with authentic regional atmosphere. To wit: the Good Will Hunting-esque back-story blurts and all those superfluous helicopter shots of the Bunker Hill Monument. The latter, at least, speak to Affleck’s perhaps unacknowledged top priority here, his striving for an elegant and lasting symbol of male virility. But so what if he’s in his comfort zone, as long as he’s striving?