After a long night of ups and down, Richie ends up losing all he has. Discovering there is cheating involved, Richie decides it might be a good idea to track down Ivan Block (Ben Affleck), a gambling mogul who owns the website that took Richie’s future.
It’s a world of parties and dancing and strippers and top-shelf liquor and whatever else Richie can imagine. And there’s Block, sitting in a throne surrounded by beautiful girls. Surprisingly, Block offers the student a seven-figure job—or maybe not surprisingly at all, since Richie can incriminate Block and Block is being sought by the FBI.
Runner Runner is directed by Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) and written by the team of Brian Koppelman and David Levien, who explored the world of gambling with 1998’s Rounders. That movie looked at the business with a sharp eye and showed the real consequences of what can happen when a man gets in far over his head. Runner Runner consists of millionaire criminals, FBI agents, blackmail, hostages and alligator-feeding. It is far too over-the-top to view as a serious attempt and Koppelman and Levien blew all of their insight and smart dialogue on their first try.
It’s easy to see that Timberlake and Affleck probably signed on because the plot sounds like a thrilling mixture of modern and exotic. But the movie is neither and both Affleck (who now has two Oscars on his mantle) and Timberlake (who has chosen a number of excellent projects and roles recently) are too good for Runner Runner.
Deleted Scenes (10:40): There are seven here, which can be viewed separately or as a whole. They are: “Block Scouts Antigua,” “Richie Bribes Way into EDC Party,” “Richie’s The New Sheriff,” “Richie Learns the Ropes,” “Extended Richie and Rebecca Seaside Chat,” “Richie and Rebecca Café Chat,” and “Where Cronin.”