Friday, October 4, 2013

Runner Runner

Most films either take themselves too seriously or not serious enough.  And this creates a problem for those nights after a long work week when you just want to turn your brain off, sit back, and enjoy a fun popcorn film that isn't pretentious but also doesn't need to overcompensate with lots of gunfire and explosions.  And that's what you get with 'Runner Runner'.

Justin Timberlake plays a brilliant grad student who pays his tuition through online gambling.  But when he figures out he's been swindled, he goes to Costa Rica to take it up with the owner of the site, played with full bravado by Ben Affleck.  Not since 'Boiler Room' have we seen Affleck play a character with such confidence and salesmanship, and it's a fun side of him to get to see again.  (And as an aside, all these naysayers on the internet flipping out about Affleck as Batman really need to chill out.  He's shown us his broad talents on many occasions.  Give the guy a chance.  I think he'll bring it as Bruce Wayne.)  And Timberlake continues to prove he's a great dramatic actor in addition to his musical and comedic talents.  Plus you get the beautiful Gemma Arterton for eye candy.

'Runner Runner' is a fun film with a fun cast and is my pick of the week.  Pair it with a DVD screening at home of 'Boiler Room' or the underappreciated 'In Time' also starring Timberlake.

Grade: B+

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