Friday, 1 November 2013

Runner Runner

Mini Review

Princeton student Richie (Timberlake) decides to gamble what little money he was saving for his tuition on an online gaming site, in the hope that he will win enough to pay for his tuition in it's entirety. He loses everything, but rather than putting this down to bad luck, Richie is convinced that he's been played by the site, and that they made sure he lost. He takes his grievance to the owner of the site, Ivan Block (Affleck), a man who has clearly made his fortune through more than running a gaming site or two. Block hears Richie out and offers to compensate him for his loss. But more than that, Block offers Richie a job, and with it, the chance to become richer than his wildest dreams.

I didn't know much about Runner Runner going in. I'd only seen the trailer for it a week or so previously, and wasn't particularly grabbed by the storyline or the stars. Although I have enjoyed Affleck and Arterton in their recent releases. My reason for seeing the film was simply that there wasn't an awful lot to choose from that week. This probably worked in Runner Runner's favour as I'm sure I wasn't the only one who saw it for that very reason, and I'm not sure it would have made much of a dent in the box office if it had been released in a week when say Captain Phillips or Thor 2 were out.

I enjoyed it enough but I must admit that it's not the most gripping plot or the greatest acting on display. I think Affleck's best work these days is as a director, or when he's directing himself. I don't know if that means he tries harder or if the other directors he's working with aren't very good at getting the best out of him, but he certainly wasn't at his best here, putting in a rather cheesy panto villain performance. Arterton had little to do other than look pretty, which she's great at but she's capable of so much more. Timberlake for me is watchable but can't really carry movie, and with Timberlake as the lead, this leaves Runner Runner in a bit of a stalled state. 

It's watchable, but the twist at the end is underwhelming. I'd only recommend it if you don't have something better to watch. 6.5 out of 10.

Viewing Date - 1st October 2013
UK Release Date - 27th September 2013

Cast Overview:
Richie Furst ~ Justin Timberlake
Ivan Block ~ Ben Affleck
Rebecca Shafran ~ Gemma Arterton
Agent Shavers ~ Anthony Mackie

Director ~ Brad Furman
Writer(s) ~ Brad Furman and David Levien

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