Saturday, 28 September 2013
REVIEW: RUNNER, RUNNER
91 Minutes. Starring: Justin Timberlake, Gemma Arterton, Anthony Mackie & Ben Affleck. Director: Brad Furman.
BEN AFFLECK IS GOING TO PLAY BATMAN! WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?! Now, breathe, let that thought escape your mind as you watch his new film. Don't hold up your hand above his chin on the big-screen and try and picture him as the Dark Knight. Besides, let's stop all this internet hate for a second and just think how good he could actually be donning the cape and cowl. As an older, weathered Batman he may just give Snyder's 'Man Of Steel' sequel what the fans have been waiting and wishing for. Plus, playing his hand here as a corrupt online poker game owner he shows between private jets and yatchs he's got the suited and booted look down to play Bruce Wayne. After impressing everyone and reinventing himself in all eyes with his trio of incredible directed films ('Gone Baby Gone', 'The Town' and the Oscar winning 'Argo'), Affleck's super popularity has taken a dark turn like he was playing 'Daredevil' again. Still, with a solid, 'Boiler Room' like hot performance in this thriller that's right on the money, Affleck looks to turn everything around before proving everyone in the D.C. universe wrong, whilst bringing the house down.
It always wins here and in this picture it's Justin Timberlake's house. The former N'Sync star is having quiet the year, coming off a 'Suit and Tie' collaboration tour with rap king Jay-Z and a smart sequel to his big album of the year ('The 20/20 Experience') coming this week. It's clear this former teenage hearthrob is the king of hearts once again, but can the pop prince act? After his stealing performance in 'The Social Network' the facebook and Twitter, newsfeeds say yes. He even showed he had the classic comedy chops in many television skits before his 'Friends With Benefits' really made his movie relationship serious. Now after 'In Time', J.T. plays the right hand in a cool, slick Brad Furman thriller that uses intimidation and the internet over bruises and bullets. It's a new age-even in the action genre-one where musicians can make movies and through them all, Timberlake hits the highest note. With this, his two albums and his tour, the man who was away for some time has made quite the return that might just make for his biggest year yet. Now it won't just be the billboard charts that are singing his praises, but the blockbuster ones too.
The featured guest spots of this play are great for the record too. British actress Gemma Arterton is back again ready to show she belongs back in the circuit of the hardest working, young actors. Look and acting the part the woman who was in everything should expect more scripts on her table soon. While 'The Falcoln' otherwise known as Anthony Mackie continues to rise and spread his wings too. Perfect here, detected as a cop, the man who's about to join 'Captain America' has had quite the year with 'Pain & Gain', 'Gangster Squad' and the forthcoming 'Fifth Estate'. The guy who made his name in this game with his moving performances in 'The Hurt Locker' and 'The Adjustment Bureau' is like a young Morgan Freeman, with a great voice and a presence that just exudes confidence and respect. This is this mans moment and the top award worthy supporting player won't have to wait long before its his name footing the bill. If anyone here from Batman to the pop star who wanted to play the Riddiler is rolling the dice the right way, it's the Falcon we should all marvel at.
This all makes for one super slick, flossed and glossed film that takes you away from the boxer short and box of pizza world of internet gambling to the glitz and glamour of Costa Rica. Still, below all that sun and shine there's a lot of grit and grime. Below that too is corruption in this movie and in it's interweaving story you may find some shallow water, but what this film lacks in depth it makes up for in some tense tricks of the trade which shows just how cool 'Oceans Eleven' could have been if made darker. Brad Furman's gamble for the most part plays and pays off here. After turning the pages of Michael Connelly 'Lincoln Laywer' into Matthew McConaughey's real, grand return, the new director follows with a film on the other side of the law that still passes the bar. It's not his best score, but he still managed to turn his chips into money, showing Timberlake can lead and Affleck can take a back seat and act in something that he hasn't directed. With gorgeous girls, cool cops, velvet slick villains and a kid in the middle of it toeing the line between the bad side and trying to do the right thing we have a decent roll at a spin that avoids the snake eyes. Sure it's not the biggest win of the year but it's a decent hand. TIM DAVID HARVEY.