When a film’s subject matter almost guarantees it won’t be one of the year’s biggest movies, the print side of an advertising campaign will often trade in plotlines for good looking actors and actresses. Is a thriller about offshore gambling not quite your cup of tea? What about a thriller starring the eternally youthful Justin Timberlake?
That’s what the marketing team behind The Lincoln Lawyer director Brad Furman’s Runner Runner are hoping, as they’ve released three colorful character posters for the film, courtesy of the IMP Awards website. Obviously this is all a sweeping generalization, as I have no insider information on Runner Runner’s target audience, but it seems like pretty solid conjecture. Timberlake and co-star Ben Affleck have a solid fanbase who will go and see anything these guys put out – and Gemma Arterton as well, I suppose – so it’s sometimes best just to hang onto the actors over a film’s storyline.
Why am I straight hating on debt and offshore gambling as the defining elements of this movie? I don’t know really. Runner Runner just looks like a hundred other midrange thrillers that populate the non-tentpole summer landscape. Which isn’t to say it won’t stand far above the lackluster tripe, but I’m not sure the below posters, showcasing Affleck and Arterton, make me feel that much better about it.
In fact, both of the above images were already seen in the film’s first poster released last month, even though Timberlake is looking off in a different direction. They're not all that dissimilar to the second poster either. You can see both of them below for proof.
So I’m just saying if this movie was truly amazing, it probably would have sprung for better posters. So what is this plotline I keep needlessly criticizing?
Timberlake plays Richie Furst, a college student who blows all of his tuition money playing online poker. He figures out how to crack the website and figures out it’s being run from a remote island by the corrupt Ivan Block (Affleck), who soon takes Richie in as his protégé. An FBI agent (Anthony Mackie) attempts to get Richie to turn on his boss, and the pressure reaches its boiling point.
While you’re wondering why Mackie didn’t get his own stylish poster, check out the film’s trailer below, and judge for yourself how investing a plotline this is when Runner Runner releases in theaters on September 27, 2013.