Latest Entertainment News Headlines

Review: Runner Runner

Runner Runner
10.04.2013by:
4 10

PLOT: After losing his life savings playing online poker, Princeton student Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake) flies to Costa Rica to confront online gaming entrepreneur Ivan Block (Ben Affleck) with proof that his games are crooked. Rather than fly off-the-handle, Ivan offers Richie a job, making him his new number two, and exposing him to a jet-set lifestyle beyond his wildest dreams. But, when an FBI agent (Anthony Mackie) starts poking around Ivanís business, Richie starts to realize that heís in over his head.

REVIEW: If that plot sounds a little familiar, thatís only because it is. Halfway through RUNNER RUNNER, when I was predicting all the obvious plot twists, and knew exactly where it was going from one scene to another, I started feeling like I had seen this movie before. Sure enough I had- a couple of times actually. Most recently, it was the god-awful PARANOIA, but the ďbroke young guy being taken in by a rich older guy who's possibly sinisterĒ premise has been done to death, ever since WALL STREET set the mold in 1987. Since then, none of its clones have measured up. While RUNNER RUNNER is certainly better than PARANOIA (what isnít?), despite the online gaming twist, and the sexy scenery (Puerto Rico doubling for Costa Rica) itís too familiar, and terribly boring.

Youíd think that given the cast and the talent involved, RUNNER RUNNER would have turned out a whole lot better. Director Brad Furmanís last movie, THE LINCOLN LAWYER was pretty good, and the writers, Brian Koppelman and David Levien wrote the great ROUNDERS (along with the not-so-great RUNAWAY JURY, and WALKING TALL remake). Pair them up with a premise exposing the world of online gambling, and a cool cast, and you should have had a solid movie. Sadly, RUNNER RUNNER just never works, or even comes close actually.

If I had to pinpoint the reason, I would probably say Justin Timberlake is my main beef with the movie. I like the guy. As a performer heís great, and Iíve enjoyed him is some of his other roles. In a supporting part, such as THE SOCIAL NETWORK, heís fine. Heís also good in comedy. But as a leading man, heís still a lightweight. Look at a guy like Matt Damon in ROUNDERS and then compare him to Timberlake here. Thereís no question of whoís better, and while Timberlake is trying, heís just not that interesting. Heís not an all-out disaster like Liam Hemsworth in PARANOIA, but heís still boring and hard to root for. Timberlake may yet evolve into a good leading man, but while he has undeniable charm, he simply needs more than that here and comes up short.

Ben Affleck doesnít fare much better. Heís in the midst of one of the most impressive comebacks of the last decade, but this feels like a leftover from his pre- GONE BABY GONE days. It feels like a paycheck part, and while heís initially intriguing as this billionaire entrepreneur in exile, when he inevitably reveals his true colors, heís hammy. Heís capable of being so much better, but then again, the part is so thinly written thatís itís hard to lay too much blame at his feet. As the love interest, Gemma Arterton looks great, but even more so than Affleck, she has nothing to do as sheís saddled with a part thatís two dimensional to the extreme. Anthony Mackie fares even worse, in the tacked-on FBI agent role which only exists to wrap things up neatly in a little bow by fade-out.

Iím tempted to at least give RUNNER RUNNER some credit by having an R-rating, but even this is wasted. I remember reading about how Furman wanted to make a sexy, steamy thriller, but thereís no heat here, or excitement. Any good episode of RAY DONOVAN or any other good cable drama soundly trounces this when it comes to intrigue.

I really have very little to say about RUNNER RUNNER thatís good, except the fact that at ninety minutes, itís never painful to sit through. Itís all over fast (too fast, with the abrupt conclusion), but even as a ninety-minute ride, I canít really recommend this. Itís a bargain-basement thriller thatís wholly unoriginal, and never really worth watching. Skip it.

Source: JoBlo.com

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

+0
11:55PM on 10/05/2013
Film never really stood a chance. The trailer was boring and the two main actors have a proven track record of sub-par acting. I like both. Affleck has proven himself to still have acting talent and Timberlake has the potential to be a breakout star, but both somehow always come off as less than good. I think they really just need better material. No doubt, though, the non-Gravity crowd will go for this over that film (sadly).
Film never really stood a chance. The trailer was boring and the two main actors have a proven track record of sub-par acting. I like both. Affleck has proven himself to still have acting talent and Timberlake has the potential to be a breakout star, but both somehow always come off as less than good. I think they really just need better material. No doubt, though, the non-Gravity crowd will go for this over that film (sadly).
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:29PM on 10/05/2013

D:

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your new Batman that is supposed to be all cool n stuff.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is your new Batman that is supposed to be all cool n stuff.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
6:57PM on 10/04/2013

I saw it this afternoon

Watching it made me feel like I was transported back ten years ago when Affleck was doing terrible films. There is no suspense in this film and the pacing is terrible. The characters, especially Affleck, give a cardboard cut a bad name. Timberlake was no better. The worst thing though that it was boring as hell. I gave it a 1
Watching it made me feel like I was transported back ten years ago when Affleck was doing terrible films. There is no suspense in this film and the pacing is terrible. The characters, especially Affleck, give a cardboard cut a bad name. Timberlake was no better. The worst thing though that it was boring as hell. I gave it a 1
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:23PM on 10/04/2013
sorry for the double post
sorry for the double post
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:23PM on 10/04/2013
Wow, everyone is over rating 'Gravity', and under rating 'Runner Runner'. Gravity is not a 10, not even close. Gravity was good, but it was far from perfect. It's is a solid 8, maybe even a 7 1/2. Runner Runner on the other hand is not the worst movie of the year by any stretch. It isn't anything spectacular, but a 4 is unfair, it's definitely in the 6ish territory.
Wow, everyone is over rating 'Gravity', and under rating 'Runner Runner'. Gravity is not a 10, not even close. Gravity was good, but it was far from perfect. It's is a solid 8, maybe even a 7 1/2. Runner Runner on the other hand is not the worst movie of the year by any stretch. It isn't anything spectacular, but a 4 is unfair, it's definitely in the 6ish territory.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-3
3:12PM on 10/04/2013
I thought the movie was "pretty good", I'd give it a 6.5 out of 10. Affleck was great in it, but Timberlake needs to stop acting....he's terrible.
I thought the movie was "pretty good", I'd give it a 6.5 out of 10. Affleck was great in it, but Timberlake needs to stop acting....he's terrible.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+10
1:45PM on 10/04/2013
But... But... Ben Affleck has really grown as an actor.... LMAO I'm sorry, I can't say that shit with a straight face.
But... But... Ben Affleck has really grown as an actor.... LMAO I'm sorry, I can't say that shit with a straight face.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+24
1:08PM on 10/04/2013

Timberlake sucks

The guy is NOT A LEAD.
The guy is NOT A LEAD.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:33PM on 10/04/2013
I don't know why Timberlake is getting work as an actor. It's shameful to think that there are so many starving actors out there who work day and night to get a part -- any part -- and JT just somehow swoops in and nabs one just like that. It's disgusting. This horrible trend needs to stop.
I don't know why Timberlake is getting work as an actor. It's shameful to think that there are so many starving actors out there who work day and night to get a part -- any part -- and JT just somehow swoops in and nabs one just like that. It's disgusting. This horrible trend needs to stop.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+14
12:11PM on 10/04/2013

Why So Defensive?

Why is it that every time Ben Affleck is in something it's always "itís hard to lay too much blame at his feet"? This is the same statement that has been uttered a million times since 'Batfleck' was announced. I don't get it. Let's just accept the reality that he's only a good actor when he's working under his own direction, within his comfort zone. Nothing personal, just facts. And he's probably going to be a mediocre Batman. I could tell from the trailers that this movie was going to suck,
Why is it that every time Ben Affleck is in something it's always "itís hard to lay too much blame at his feet"? This is the same statement that has been uttered a million times since 'Batfleck' was announced. I don't get it. Let's just accept the reality that he's only a good actor when he's working under his own direction, within his comfort zone. Nothing personal, just facts. And he's probably going to be a mediocre Batman. I could tell from the trailers that this movie was going to suck, and to be honest, I'm bummed that I was right. Because I really want Ben Affleck to be a good actor, so that we at least get a badass Batman.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:36PM on 10/04/2013
I agree, if this is Ben Affleck "acting" under someone else's direction and script circa 2013, I think people have every reason to be worried about him donning the cape and cowl.
I agree, if this is Ben Affleck "acting" under someone else's direction and script circa 2013, I think people have every reason to be worried about him donning the cape and cowl.
+5
11:34AM on 10/04/2013
I like JT, but please stop letting him try and star in movies. He needs to just have bit parts.
I like JT, but please stop letting him try and star in movies. He needs to just have bit parts.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+14
9:09AM on 10/04/2013

"The not so great Runaway Jury"?

Runaway Jury was a pretty good film.
Runaway Jury was a pretty good film.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:36AM on 10/04/2013
So was Walking Tall as long as you didn't have unrealistic expectations for it.
So was Walking Tall as long as you didn't have unrealistic expectations for it.
7:33AM on 10/04/2013
I'd have loved to have seen Chris's review before this movie was already in the negative.
I'd have loved to have seen Chris's review before this movie was already in the negative.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:14AM on 10/04/2013
Won't be running running to the theater to see this one.
Won't be running running to the theater to see this one.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
6:22AM on 10/04/2013
This film is a like a competition between Affleck & Timberlake to see who has the worst on screen presence. Though you shouldn't expect more from either of them. Unless Affleck plays himself, he sucks, and unless Timberlake plays a more comedic or lighter role, he sucks.
This film is a like a competition between Affleck & Timberlake to see who has the worst on screen presence. Though you shouldn't expect more from either of them. Unless Affleck plays himself, he sucks, and unless Timberlake plays a more comedic or lighter role, he sucks.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:50AM on 10/04/2013
I've heard as much; it does seem pretty forgettable. I'm watching Film Brain's review of the film, which is done pretty well. [link] Ben Affleck keeps pet crocodiles! Is one named Waylon?
I've heard as much; it does seem pretty forgettable. I'm watching Film Brain's review of the film, which is done pretty well. [link] Ben Affleck keeps pet crocodiles! Is one named Waylon?
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...
JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!