There are far too many of us, I suspect, that spent way too many years appreciating Ben Affleck with little or no justification, post Good Will Hunting. He spent something like a decade slowly crashing and burning, culminating finally in one of the worst combinations of awful movies ever known for an A-lister: Gigli, Paycheck, Jersey Girl and Surviving Christmas. Dark days, folks. And we won’t even speak of Daredevil.
But there was a lot of talent buried underneath the JLo romance and the cash grabs, and it began to surface with Affleck’s comeback performance in the little-seen Hollywoodland, truly revealed itself in Affleck’s feature directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, and it may just be hitting its stride in The Town which might combine Affleck’s ability to act from Hollywoodland and his ability to direct in Gone Baby Gone.
What’s the biggest lesson Affleck has seemingly learned: Surround yourself with talent. And in The Town, he’s got it in spades: Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, and even what I hear a performance so good from Blake Lively that it got her the role in The Green Lantern.
I dig the trailer, mostly because it doesn’t seem to give much away — it’s about a bank robber who falls in love with a bank manager — but it puts the performances on full display. And for the curious, the movie is based on the Chuck Hogan novel The Prince of Thieves.
We no longer have to like Affleck ironically, folks. He’s earning it now.