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I don’t see Ben Affleck often enough. Not sure why that is, he has the looks and the skills to be a leading man in good movies –  maybe he is a bit too bulky and handsome, so casting agents are worried that you would mistake him for a an action lead? I guess one way to avoid this worry is to write produce and direct your own film, casting yourself  for the lead role. Affleck does that in “The Town”, and to complete his home game, the film plays in Boston, where he belongs. As he is quite somebody by now, this film is allowed to look big: car chases, fancy bank robberies, I seem to remember the odd explosion… and then a tender love story with a slightly clumsy Affleck trying to move in on the girl that some days earlier he has taken hostage in his capacity as a professional and serial bank robber. This is cleverly woven into the developments on the professional side: how do you do a “final heist” and not end up dead, even though not only the police, but also your Irish mobster (Pete Postlethwaite, was this your final part? It was a great exit!) bosses are very angry at you. How do you manage a controlled hit when your best friend and partner is pretty much a gun-toting psychopath (with the unsettling facial features of Jeremy Renner… he looks unstable whatever he plays, like an evil little Sean Penn brother). Ben Affleck’s life challenge seems to be to define his relationship with his home town, and that adds a layer of melancholia to “The Town” that is just enough to offset the sometimes excessive action sequences.

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