Not content with one Boston based crime drama, Ben Affleck’s second attempt as director will be seen with the release of ‘The Town’ this September. Adapted from Chuck Hogan’s 2004 novel ‘Prince of Thieves’, ‘The Town’ follows a similar thread to ‘Gone Baby Gone’ though, judging from the trailer, is invested with far more action, grit and suspense.
Evidently still with a tendency for the limelight, Affleck plays the main character Doug MacRay – a criminal who falls in love with Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall); the bank manager who he and his gang of ruthless thieves briefly take hostage. With Jon Hamm (Mad Men) as Special Agent Adam Frawley in hot pursuit and Keesey unaware of MacRay’s true identity, it all seems pretty dramatic. Especially with the overtly sinister death masks of dreadlocked skulls and alarmingly hideous nuns that the robbers use as disguise.
Affleck has backed himself with a seemingly infallible box office cast including not only Hall and Hamm but also Chris Cooper, Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) and - in a far stretch from the luxury associated with being Serena from the Upper East Side – Blake Lively from Gossip Girl. Playing Krista, Doug’s ex-girlfriend, Lively sports both hoop earrings and a nineteen-month old daughter. The role poses as an opportunity for her to really test her acting skills for the first time.
Hall described Affleck as ‘Mr Boston’ in this August’s issue of W magazine and indeed it seems that in his hometown he can do no real wrong. His collaboration with his good friend Matt Damon on the screenplay for the 1997 ‘Good Will Hunting’ earned Affleck an Academy Award and ‘Gone Baby Gone’ was critically acclaimed.
The trailer is being showcased with Chris Nolan’s ‘Inception’ but we won’t know till its release as to whether it will achieve the same staggering box office figures. Surely though, the prominence of Affleck on both sides of the camera can’t hurt.