Runner Runner (2013)

Runner Runner
Director: Brad Furman
Writer: Brian Koppelman, David Levien
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck, Gemma Arterton, Anthony Mackie, John Heard, Sam Palladio, David Costabile

Richie (Justin Timberlake) used to be somebody on Wall Street but then his world came crashing down. Now he’s back at uni, struggling to finance his studies and supplementing his income with referring people to online poker games. When he himself loses in one of them, he is certain that he was scammed. So he decides to find Ivan Block (Ben Affleck), the owner of the gambling site, and let him know how people use his site to their advantage. Ivan is impressed and offers Richie a job. But things are not all what they cracked up to be.

Runner Runner was so boring that I actually fell asleep for the last five minutes or so, during the very showdown. I just didn’t care for anything that happened in this film.


The movie really should have been better than it was. I mean, it’s made up of a cast that is between likeable and extremely talented. And what does it do with that cast? Anthony Mackie is completely wasted, Gemma Arterton gets to do nothing but be pretty and be a personality-free prize for our hero and Justin Timberlake has never been blander.

The only one who actually gets something out of this film is Ben Affleck. With his first appearance it becomes obvious that he just thought “fuck it” and turned the ham up to 11. The result is not particularly convincing, but enjoyable in a ridiculous way.


But the characters are far from the film’s only problem, though it is a huge problem that you just don’t know why you should care for Richie much or what happens to him. He’s an egocentric, privileged megalomaniac. That I didn’t grow more frustrated with him is practically a miracle.

The other issues are mainly the extremely weird camera filter this was shot with (or maybe it was aftereffects) making Costa Rica look like a cardboard stage from the 70s and that the movie was just really boring. There just wasn’t enough entertainment in it to make it worth it.


Summarizing: Decidedly meh.

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