Time Out rating:
<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5Rate this
Time Out says
Tue Sep 21 2010This is a slick but inert cops ’n’ robbers yarn from Ben Affleck (with his director-writer-star hat on) that feels all but indistinguishable from the thousands of similar films that have blazed a trail before it. Sporting a neat crew cut, a sweat-glazed six-pack and a nice line in ‘Boston’-emblazoned tracksuit tops, Affleck is Doug, the conflicted leader of a rubber-masked wrecking crew who take down banks on behalf of kingpin (and florist!) Pete Postlethwaite. Doug wants to take his loot and make a break for Florida, a desire fuelled by his relationship with Rebecca Hall’s kindly soup-kitchen mama. But Pete’s got dirt on him, and even though the Feds are closing in (led by ‘Mad Men’ heartthrob John Hamm), the team keep breaking banks, leading to a minutely orchestrated take-down of the Boston Red Sox’s home ground.
You’d hazard from this and his previous directorial effort, ‘Gone Baby Gone’, that Affleck counts Michael Mann and Sidney Lumet among his muses. You’d also guess from the film’s slickly calculated pacing and surfeit of soulful heart-to-hearts that break up the carnage that he has a fondness for the TV work of David Simon, notably ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’ and ‘The Wire’. Yet despite the grubby locations in the Bostonian crime-hub of Charlestown, the film’s credibility feels severely hamstrung by the fact that even though the robbers (especially Jeremy Renner as a gung-ho ex-con) are armed and dangerous, too much effort is made to ensure us that it’s never nice-guy Affleck who’s pulling the trigger.
Author: David Jenkins