Let’s face it – any excitement that has been built-up for Runner Runner is because of Ben Affleck’s role in the movie. The last few years have seen Affleck go from something of a cultural punch-line to critically lauded director to Batman. That’s a hell of a curve – one that even Justin Timberlake would have trouble with.
Timberlake has built a steady (if somewhat haphazard) film career over the last decade or so. He’s far from box office, but Runner Runner will be a strong test of his pulling power. Affleck’s role is more of a supporting character, but he’ll be the reason why most people show-up.
I’m not sold on the 32 year-old Timberlake playing a ‘Princeton college student’. Timberlake is at the age where he should be trying to score some gravitas – he should play a cop for instance, something with grit. Guys like Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio and even Affleck himself weren’t playing roles like that at his age. Affleck appears to bring menace to the role, but Timberlake – is he a leading man?
Director Brad Furman scored a solid old-fashioned hit with the 2011 Matthew McConaughey. The Lincoln Lawyer and Runner Runner look to be another retro-vibed thriller and it should also score when it opens on 27th September.