The Town is an excellent heist film based around a group of 4 young men from Charlestown, America - a Boston suburb which in the real world holds the perverted honour of being bank robber central.
Apparently more bank robbers come from Charlestown than anywhere else. In fact its like a trade handed down from father to son, or even a past time - and this is the kernel of real world truth from which this great film has grown.
Indeed the film opens with a high octane bank heist based on a real robbery that took place in the area. One the cast members (many of whom hail from the area) say they remembered well.
In fact a bank worker, there on the day, was brought in to help supervise the shoot for authenticity, and he said the events were so exact it was like reliving the whole ordeal over again.
The attention to detail in this film made it real for him and its what helps make it real for viewers at home too. Even the masks in the opening scene were copies of ones used by a team of robbers, found in the files of the FBI.
The characters too felt real, and the dialogue and friendship amongst them seemed natural and believable. Ben Affleck's acting shined here in fact - with an accent that really brought his character to life.
In fact, I wonder if he's originally from the area as it seemed so effortless for him - but the delivery of his lines reminded me of a cross between Christopher Walken and Al Pacino. This film has made me look at Affleck in a new light.
Written by, directed and starring Ben Affleck he has pulled of quite an achievement. I watched the extended cut and it felt like a marathon of events, and although the story wasn't exactly ground breaking, that was part of its strength.
It felt real. Like it happened all the time and what we were watching was `the same S**t just a different day'. That said though this team of robbers were pros and took their craft very seriously.
Dare I say it was a joy to watch their military precision and attention to detail. There were some great set pieces throughout the film which were the best I've seen in a long time. And the script and dialogue were a joy throughout.
There were some truly great scenes and lines, as well as great performances - which included some by the late, great Pete Postlethwait - and all in all I can't recommend this film enough.
The Blu Ray Transfer is excellent and the format is highly recommended to make the most of the fire fights, costumes and action sequences. And there are a reasonable amount of interesting extras on the disc too.
These talk, of course, about the making of the film - but also about the area itself and characters involved behind the scenes. The real people of Charlestown; who there as consultants, advising the film makers throughout the shoot.
If I had to criticise it at all, I would say only this - the sound recording was a little lack lustre. But only the dialogue. Car chases, gunshot and explosion all rang out crystal clear. It was only the speech I found a little muffled in places - though this could have just been the Charlestown accent.
To sum up: Heat - eat your heart out. There's a new heist-meister in town and this is it. And if you are a fan of Heat - or indeed Point Break, Killing Zoe, or any other film based around a gang of bank robbers - this is the film for you. It has it all and yet still delivers more. 10/10 from me for all involved. Ben Affleck - I salute you: 'The Town' robs 'Heat' of its title of 'Best bank heist film around'