“Heat meets The Departed!!” screamed the rave reviews of the trailer. Having seen those two movies probably a combined 20 times in my life, I was a pretty easy sell for The Town, newfound double-threat Ben Affleck’s heist flick follow-up to the similarly New England-set Gone Baby Gone. Also starring longtime IITS favorite Jeremy Renner and TV stars Jon Hamm and Blake Lively in gloriously quintessential “Hey remember those TV characters that you’ll always associate us with well we can do other things too look at us!!” roles, I knew this was that all-too-rare flick I actually wanted to make the effort to get out to the theaters to see.
And to be fair, the quote was not wrong–except I was kind of hoping it was more of a qualitative statement than a quantitative one. The Town is indeed Heat meets The Departed–it’s pretty much the exact plot of Heat, with even thicker accents and crazier locals than in The Departed. I’m not sure what I was expecting, precisely, but I was hoping for something a little less eye-rolling, something a little more substantial. Instead, it was mostly a bunch of scenes of Ben Affleck trying to imply soulfulness by not smiling and Jon Hamm testing the limits of how disheveled he could get his hair and still look devastatingly handsome (Unsurprising answer: Very.)
Naturally, credibility-straining interactions and cliche-ridden set pieces abound. Here are the ten worst offenders, in roughly chronological order, though it also basically doubles as a countdown since things tend to get dumber as it goes: