Friday, October 4, 2013
Runner Runner.....Runs without Substance
It doesn't get much hotter than Justin Timberlake right now. Two number one albums, a sold out tour, and hash tag video with Jimmy Fallon. Ben Affleck has also been in the news and is a hot topic among fan boys after being cast as Batman. Together they bring the seedy world of online gambling to life in Runner Runner.
Richie (Timberlake) is a Princeton student who loses his tuition money by gambling online. He discovers that the site cheated him with an backdoor program. He does what any victim would do, flies to Costa Rica to confront the site's corrupt owner, Ivan Block(Affleck). He instead becomes an employee. Their relationship starts to strain when the F.B.I. wants to use Richie to bring Ivan down.
He begins to fall for Ivan's girl (Atherton) and needs to find a way to get out of the mess he has gotten himself, friends, and family into. The trailer looks intense, but does the film live up to the trailer?
Runner Runner does a decent job of letting you into the world of online gambling. It truly is a vicious addiction. Pay offs, violence, and corruption are everywhere. The world of Runner Runner might make you second guess playing online poker, but for me it wasn't intense enough. Gemma Atherton is gorgeous and the movie creates a glamorous yet gritty world. I just felt like something was missing.
Affleck reminded me a lot from his character from Boiler Room. I love that movie. I didn't hate his performance and he looked the part. I felt like he didn't have much to work with. His arrogance and cockiness plays well, but I felt like the script really didn't provide the intensity he needed. He was so much better in Argo and The Town. Writing truly does make all the difference.
Justin Timberlake has the same problem. He isn't a bad actor. He has an incredible like ability factor. He is cast well, and the overall concept of the movie is good. It just feels like the script falls flat. There isn't a lot of meat and I think it will hurt the overall performance of the film.
It isn't terrible. It tries to capture parts of The Firm mixed with a couple of other movies. It's produced by Leonardo Dicaprio , but it doesn't matter. A stronger script would've made a better movie. If you're looking to waste two hours, go see it. If you don't have time, wait for Netflix.