Saw Ben Affleck’s latest ode to Boston, The Town, recently and was struck by the cramming of every Beantown stereotype: the Irish brogues, the Red Sox, the tough guys, Fenway Park, creative use of language, the Bruins, Irish tattoos, the Celtics … Oh, wait …
When the first two sections of the movie featured Mr. Affleck in a Boston Bruins jacket and then a Red Sox jacket, I figured he would eventually run the gamut: Celtics, Patriots, Boston College, etc. But he didn’t. Just the blue-collar Bruins and the tough-love Red Sox.
What gives? Celtics and Patriots too uptown?
I also noticed some cleverly-inserted dialogue meant to promote various television shows. On a “date” with his love interest, Affleck remarks his lovefor “CSI and Miami CSI … all of them.” Then the camera cuts to an alternate view, where he adds, “And Bones.”
Interesting. The “Bones” line was an obvious insert added in editing. I’m still looking for the connection, considering The Town is a Warner Brothers/Legendary Pictures production, while Bones is 20th Century Fox/FOX.
As for the movie itself, The Town, much like Takers, took some tips from Michael Mann’s Heat (1995). Consider:
- Like DeNiro, Affleck falls for an outside girl (although this one’s a witness), and she drives him to want to leave his life of crime, and
- Like Ashley Judd’s love interest to Kilmer’s character, this love interest signals to Affleck that the heat is on her and he shouldn’t see her one list time.
This, once again, proves that either Heat is one of the greatest films of all time, or so blandly archetypal that it can be blended into every other film in the genre.
I’ll let you decide.