This film was full of pointless side-plots and weak character development. The main story centers around Doug (Ben Affleck), the introspective ringleader of thieves. It's the same story: bad-guy-starts-thinking-about-getting-out-of-the-game-because-of-a-girl. Not very original, and not particularly written for a guy like Ben Affleck. Let's get it out there: he's an average actor. The fake tattoos didn't help convince me that he was a hardened thief, nor did his poor Bostonian accent. Ben simply wasn't very believable, which was obvious from the beginning of the movie.
Doug works with a man known as The Florist (Pete Postlewaithe), an Irish thug who organizes the heists (I'm guessing at this). What a waste of time! It was never made clear exactly who he was or why he worked with Doug and his gang. I found this to be annoying, but it continued throughout the film. Blake Lively plays Krista, sister to Jimmy (Jeremy Renner) and local floozy. It's mentioned in the film that she has a daughter, and Doug might be the father. But that's it! No development, just a weak side story meant to keep us excited. And what's up with the sudden car accident? She goes to see Doug at the hotel, and then BAM! she's in a hospital bed? With no visible wounds?
This seriously continues! We're also introduced to Special Agent Frawley (Jon Hamm), who works with the F.B.I. to solve the bank robberies in Charlestown. (Don Draper wasn't too bad, but GOD! can someone give him a haircut?!) Frawley tries to talk to Claire (Rebecca Hall), the bank manager who was held hostage and released by Doug and his men. As Claire and Doug begin dating, things get complicated with Jimmy and before you know it, the whole gang starts to fall apart. Big surprise, right?
The only saving grace of this movie was Jeremy Renner. This guy is blowing up ever since "The Hurt Locker" and for good reason. Out of all the characters, Jimmy was the most intriguing and exciting. I cared more about his character than I did for Ben Affleck's. That's a clear sign of Affleck's ability to make a good, solid film: the guy you hired to play your enemy ends up being the hero who saves your movie from almost-certain doom. The only other upside of this movie was the successful recreation of the heists themselves. The switch cars, the fake uniforms, the Clorox...all of that was well and good.
The end of the movie was sloppily put together. There were tons of unanswered questions, and no closure on Claire and Doug's relationship. Seems like Ben Affleck's way of wrapping up a heist movie is to go on a Florida vacation. I had high hopes for this movie, and looking back on it, I don't know why I expected better. Save this one for your Netflix queue, people.