Runner Runner Movie Review
Take the director of the excellent The Lincoln Lawyer, mash him together with the writers of the cult hit Rounders and sprinkle on the talent of Justin Timberlake and Batfleck, and what do you get? The high-concept thriller Runner Runner that is so mediocre it's insulting.
Justin Timberlake plays a good-looking, incredibly assertive and so-smart-he's-stupid college student who loses his tuition on an online poker website and after determining he's been cheated, he does what any college student would do: he buys a plane ticket to Costa Rica (how, with no money?), tracks down the rich owner of the company that ripped him off (Affleck) and confronts him in front of all his guests at a luxurious pool party.
If that doesn't make much sense, he is then hired by the same guy, only to soon discover that his boss is essentially running a Ponzi scheme, the FBI is investigating the company and everything is spiraling out of control.
Basically, Runner Runner is The Firm, only with a cheesier premise, worse actors and bland filmmaking. The movie induces plenty of eye-rolling, starting with the filmmakers' expectation that we are to believe Justin Timberlake is a college student. The instant attraction Gemma Arterton feels toward him is also pretty silly, because there's nothing sexier than a man who has lost all of his money due to a gambling addiction. And the rest, from the cliché-spitting FBI agents to the generic and predictable plotting, is just forgettable.
As for Affleck, who doesn't get to the play the villain all too often, he fails to put his mark on the role. While Runner Runner doesn't exactly set him up for success, he is as generic as the movie is.
Runner Runner is a dumb, forgettable and inane thriller that lacks thrills, intelligence or much of anything of value. I literally fell asleep at one point and even when I was attentive, nothing that occurs in the movie made me care. Follow the title and run in the other direction.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.