Directed by Ben Affleck
Written by Peter Craig, Aaron Stockard, Ben Affleck. Based on the novel Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan
Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Titus Welliver, Pete Postlethwaite, Chris Cooper, George Carroll, Owen Burke, Victor Garber.
In the neighbourhood of Charlestown, Boston – a group of friends are also successful bank robbers. One robbery, the hot headed Jem (Renner) takes the bank manager Claire (Hall) hostage – despite the objections of level headed, and leader Doug (Affleck). The release her soon after, but she is traumatized by the ordeal.
When Doug intentionally inserts himself into her now shattered life, in order to find out how much she knows, and what she has told police. Soon, he begins to fall for her. As the investigations of FBI agents (Hamm and Welliver) heats up, the team decide to go for a big pay day before going their separate ways.
The acting is great from all, especially Renner who plays Jem, the best friend to protagonist Affleck. He is a man on the edge, having spent close to a decade in prison already – to him this way of life is life and death. special mention also goes to the late great Pete Postlethwaite in one of his last on screen performances.
There are some pretty impressive action sequences, and the car chase through the small streets of the Boston suburb in the middle of the film is impressively shot – especially through all the tight spaces. It feels claustrophobic – and almost puts us in the car with the robbers. Cinematographer Robert Elswit has done this type of filming previously. I’ve reviewed some of his films in the past, and The River Wild comes to mind – where a portion of the filming was set within the raft.
I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked this film. The plot is easy to follow and the characters are all well developed. There are several moments within the film that you genuinely feared for some of the characters – and even though he is an ‘antihero’ you’re not sure what Doug’s ending should be. I found myself to be also anxious for the safety of other characters – as they were the ‘antagonists’ to the antagonists.
This is Affleck’s second time directing, and he has shown he has true talent behind the camera and as a writer.
Great film, good job by all involved.