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Flash Movie Review: Runner Runner

Each of us one way or another has in some type of form gambled. Not necessary with money, but based on choices we made on a daily basis. Everyday I drive to work I have to take a gamble on which route will get me to the office the quickest. If I choose the highway there may be a backup of cars that would delay me. Taking side streets will take longer but if traffic is flowing I could get there earlier; it is a calculated gamble I have to take each day. How many of us have had to lift something that was extra heavy? There is a risk that some of us may injure our backs; isn’t that taking a gamble? I have very little experience when it comes to gambling with money; never understood the attraction of it. However, I certainly have no problem watching other people play with their money. In this dramatic thriller the gambling was done entirely online. Justin Timberlake (Friends with Benefits, The Social Network) played Princeton student Richie Furst. Discovering he was cheated out of his tuition money on an online gambling site, Richie decided to take his proof to the site’s headquarters in Costa Rica and confront millionaire owner Ivan Block, played by Ben Affleck (Argo, The Company Men). Impressed with Richie’s moxie, Ivan made him an enticing offer. The story had all the elements to make an exciting film, even if none of them were original. I could have dealt with the cliches and obvious setups if the acting stood out. Unfortunately, it did not nor helped this crime film. Part of it may be due to the direction, but Justin could not carry the story as a lead character. As long as Ben was doing gentler scenes he was okay, but his intense scenes fell flat. Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace, Unfinished Song) as Rebecca Shafran was forgettable, lacking any chemistry with her co-stars. Anthony Mackie (The Adjustment Bureau, Real Steel) as Agent Shavers was wasted on his stereotypical character. There was nothing new being offered in this movie; parts dragged for me. As I mentioned in the beginning, all of us have gambled in some way and that holds true for the movie studio that made this film. It took a risk and lost I am afraid. There were a couple of brief scenes with blood in them.


1 3/4 stars

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