After last month’s Getaway I was really looking forward to a good movie to review. Unfortunately for Runner, Runner, this isn’t it. The gambling themed thriller doesn’t even live up to the genre, has a boring hero, an equally boring plot and an ending as predictable as rain in Vancouver.
The film is about Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake), who is a student and teaching assistant at Princeton University who gets all of his tuition money cheated from him by a poker website. Richie then heads to Costa Rica with proof that he was cheated to convince the site’s billionaire owner, Ivan Block (Ben Affleck) to give him his money back.
While I was thrilled that JT returned to music this year, his latest foray in the film industry is much less thrilling. Not only are you completely unable to empathize with him, but he also shows no growth or depth of character. I’m undecided on whether this was due to the material or Timberlake’s performance.
Affleck on the other hand gives a much more convincing performance as the cutthroat Block. Gemma Arteron plays Rebecca, the third in an awkward love triangle between the two. While her performance was decent, the chemistry between her and Timberlake just wasn’t there.
I’ve always been a fan of gambling, heist, casino themed movies (think Ocean Eleven) but this one falls way short. It is filled with a ton of obscure poker terminology that most people, myself included, wouldn’t understand – including the film’s title. It also fails to provide any real thrills, no interesting plot twists, no real danger or excitement.
Given that the actors did a decent job and the film was shot well, I have to blame this disappointment on a lackluster and recycled script. If you plan on catching this one this weekend, set the bar lower than I did and maybe you won’t walk out as disappointed.
Movie Rating: 2 out of 5 stars