“City of thieves“: stole, drank, in prison. Romanticism?
All movies about robberies, with rare exception, are removed on uniform, already become classical, to a stamp. There are good “bad“ guys, there is a large jackpot, and also the annoying police officer and a heap of unforeseen circumstances, from - for whom the initial ideal plan flies to devils dog. This situation is familiar to us tens if not to hundreds of tapes, beginning from a gold era of Hollywood 30 - x years and finishing rather recent, but already popular in the people, with opuses, like Michael Mann`s “Fight“ or the trilogy about “Ouchene`s friends“.
The American actor and the director Ben Affleck decided to bring the feasible contribution in extortionate subject too, having removed last year an action - the drama “City of Thieves“ in which it assigned a leading role to itself(himself) favourite.
… The suburb of Boston, Charlztaun, rang out all over the country not progress of the basketball team or annual competitions in eating of pies with a sorrel, and “nice“ traditions on education of the gangsters specializing in a robbery of banks and raids on collectors. At least, if in Boston there is a similar crime (that happens to enviable constancy, despite all tricks of police and FBI), then traces always conduct to Charlztaun. For sure. Or to the grandma not to go.
One of such groups is Dag Macrae`s gang where also enter his best friend James known as “Jem“ and still a couple of guys, one of which not bad rummages in electronics, and the second - perfectly copes with a role of the driver on a chickie. This four does not waste the talents on trifles, working under the auspices of a “modest“ tsvetochnik of Fergie, the secret bigwig of underworld. Business prospers, guys harmoniously work, are not greedy, do not leave marks, mokrukhy do not trade, do not take prisoners. For the time being.
All problems proceed from Jem at whom obvious problems with suppression of own aggression are observed. When in bank the alarm system off-schedule works, Jem suggests to make secure by means of the hostage, the manager of bank Clare. It, without thinking of consequences, it is ready to pull at any time the trigger, representing a time bomb. Workmates to death were bothered by its improvisations, but it is necessary to recognize that Jem, at all his uncontrollability, does the part skillfully.
To be secured about the released hostage, Dag decides to look after Claire and her new “friends“ from FBI. He understands soon that it - its only chance to change the life once and for all. Macrae - younger does not want to repeat destiny of the father - the prisoner and is going to leave dangerous business, to collect the capital which is saved up by unfair means and to dump from native Charlztaun, still not late. There was only one, the business, last and largest in the history of a gang, …
Even from the short description of a plot is visible that Affleck without a moment`s hesitation dances on bones of “Fight“ of Mann. And obvious to similarity are observed as in a plot of “The city of thieves“, and in visual style. Especially it is evident in scenes of firefights on city streets which in many respects copy brilliant street fights of “Fight“.
On the one hand, impetuous orientation to standards of a genre does not do to Affleck credit. With another - the actor made everything that his movie looked adequately against recognized masterpieces. In many respects it works well from - for competently picked up cast, and Ben, alas, here not the strongest link. Literally from - under a nose his “heroism“ is taken away by other performer, magnificent and bright Jeremy Renner whom the majority remembers according to “the best movie of 2009“, the military drama “The Hurt Locker“.
Renner is the classical villain with a restless eye. The person, whose reaction cannot be foreseen, from each movement or a look of which proceeds the hidden, veiled threat ready in in a minute to be cast out by the fountain of impetuous anger. His Dzhem is a clot of rage. To, to people around, to people in particular and to the unfair world in general. Jem is the only person in group whom the jackpot concerns less, than process of a robbery. And a question of application of violence - for it at all not a question.
It is also possible to carry to unambiguous udacha of a tape one of the latest works of Pete Postletueyt (Fergie`s tsvetochnik) who died in January, 2011 and Chris Cooper (Macrae is the senior). Short, but such powerful incidental parts. And here the image of the main police dog embodied on the screen by the serial actor John Hemm (“Madmen“), in many respects from - for banality of character and a terrible replaying, turned out not so expressive. I understand, to compare Hemm to Al Pacino (“Fight“) slightly blasphemously, but if Affleck and the company threatened on opposition correct (even too) the cop and bad guys, once it gave to the character more attention.
Very much female characters were pleasant. And Rebecca Hall (“Dorian Gray“, “Prestige“), and Blake Lively (“A green lamp“) perfectly fitted into a brutal situation of purely man`s movie, having become a peculiar core around which all events develop.
For Affleck “The city of thieves“ is the second director`s work after the criminal drama “Farewell, Child, Farewell“ of 2007. As the actor Ben did not manage to become the real superstar of Hollywood, constantly walking smack in doubtful projects. One “Gigli“ of what only costs. And the sensation around its relations with Jennifer Lopez to Affleck`s film career did not go to advantage, having made him the popular character of yellow editions, but not good movies.
In America “The city of thieves“ perfectly swept at movie theaters, having earned by the creators 92 million dollars that exceeded the budget of a tape almost three times. Very decent indicators for the two-hour criminal drama about the Irish mafia of the Boston suburbs. Let`s hope that, without having found spectator love on an actor`s field, Ben will manage to prove in a director`s field.
Verdict: very strong, qualitative cinema about robbers. The picture is deprived of a glamour and luster of the “oushenovsky“ trilogy, though concedes on intensity of emotions to “Fight“. Obvious break in director`s career of Affleck, magnificent game of Jeremy Renner and other actors. The main criterion of quality of the thriller always is the feeling of alarm. If it is absent then, authors did not manage to interest the viewer in destiny of characters enough. These feelings are fully present at “The city of thieves“, to the final stretching the ringing string of the future danger. And though subconsciously we understand that the main characters of the movie are just the bandits plundering and killing people, their unenviable destiny all the same causes in us genuine interest.