is a two-time Oscar winner, both a writer and director, a more than passable if not excellent actor, and well...he's nice. In Argo, he plays CIA technical operations officer Tony Mendez, a man central to the rescue efforts of six American diplomats in Tehran. In Pearl Harbor, he's a pilot, flying dangerous missions during WWII. In The Town, sure, he's a bank robber -- but he's a bank robber with a heart of gold. It was a go-to, cheap trope, but it works for him.
Save for a few examples, like his turn as a vengeful fallen angel in Dogma (and even then, who could blame the guy for being pissed), a paddle-happy jerk in Dazed and Confused, and a smattering of minor bully roles, Affleck has built the vast majority of his career on being a pretty decent fella.
Now, in 's Runner Runner, Ben gets an opportunity to shed his good guy persona and try his hand at villainy once again.
In Runner, Runner, plays Richie, an Ivy league student cheated out of his tuition money playing online poker. He learns the site is hosted from a remote island location, and upon arrival, proceeds to confront the site's owner. Said owner is Ivan, played by Affleck, who through manipulation and force, makes Richie is right-hand man.
Conflict builds, FBI agents get involved, and a showdown between Ivan and Richie is all but assured.
It's a prospectively unique play on the small but interesting gambling drama sub-genre (gonna pretend that's a thing) that has appeared over the years. From 's Rounders (which coincidentally, starred Affleck's pal ), card-counting heist drama, 21, to 's Maverick, there is a lot of traction in these films when done right.
Electronic gambling, island adventures, and Ben Affleck playing the part of a wealthy scumbag? Two of those three things are relatively new to feature films.
Do you think Ben can pull off bad? Give this trailer a gander and see if you're buying what Affleck is selling.
Runner, Runner hits theaters September 27, 2013.