The Town

(MA) Warners DVD/BD

Relationships often begin in bizarre circumstances, attraction and interest suddenly emerging from an unlikely scenario.

One such situation is the pivot point of The Town, Ben Affleck’s second directorial offering.

Following the superb mystery Gone Baby Gone, which twisted and turned more than a fish desperate to escape the hook, The Town is a relatively straightforward yet substantial crime flick revolving around a bank robbery and subsequent kidnapping.

Bundling blindfolded bank-teller Claire (Rebecca Hall) into a van at gunpoint, masked thief Doug (Affleck) feels the flicker of a deeper connection before his gang lets her go.

Unaware of who Doug is, Claire enters into a surprisingly vulnerable and sensitive relationship with him after he tracks her down to check whether she can identify them.

Although it favours being a sturdy if familiar cops-and-robbers thriller, The Town has something to say about how a relationship is doomed to self-destruct if founded upon deceit.

Doug’s criminal pedigree and surroundings also point to the impossibility of completely breaking free of your past without calling upon God’s assistance through Christ’s gracious act of sacrifice and salvation.

But the biggest lesson remains, as frankly warned in James 3, that it is futile for humans to try to “tame the tongue … a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3: 8). With God, however, nothing is impossible.

Ben McEachen

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