Princeton grad student Richie, believing he's been swindled, travels to Costa Rica to confront online gambling tycoon Ivan Block. Richie is seduced by Block's promise of immense wealth, until he learns the disturbing truth about his benefactor. When the FBI tries to coerce Richie to help bring down Block, Richie faces his biggest gamble ever: attempting to outmaneuver the two forces closing in on him. Written by
20th Century Fox Distribution
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Everyone gambles. They may call it something else, like the stock market, or real estate. But make no mistake, if you're risking something, you're gambling. And if you're gambling, then I'm the guy you want to see.
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Affleck saves an otherwise completely forgettable film
You know it's a good sign when the title has nothing to do with the movie.
Here's a film that begins one way but winds up being something else entirely.
Justin Timberlake plays a Princeton student paying his way through tuition costs by playing online poker, one day he loses big and finds out later he was cheated. He then heads out to Costa Rica to confront the owner of the website (Ben Affleck), but soon winds up in his employ.
When the movie begins it plays out very much like The Social Network, everyone is talking fast, there's a thumping electronic score and there's lots of impossible to follow jargon being tossed around. But once we get to Costa Rica it turns into one of those crime movies where you have the good intentioned innocent guy being pulled into the underbelly by the charming criminal.
The movie is boring, deathly boring.
The whole time you find yourself listening to bland, completely uninspired dialogue that exists only to get straight to the point to keep the movie flowing. With one of the most banal generic plots you could possibly fathom. You find yourself as a viewer one step ahead of all the characters in the film because it's a movie that's been made a million times before, there is not a single unique surprise in the entire thing.
The entire film trundles along with scene after scene of boring lazy dialogue, obvious foreshadowing and almost no action scenes.
Plus the film just looks cheap, characters who live in these huge extravagant, completely senseless homes will walk into some dingy room to talk for ten minutes. The direction and photography is completely dead, there is not a single creative flair to heighten the feel of the picture.
Justin Timberlake was excellent in The Social Network, but he hasn't shined in anything since. He's not bad in this movie, but it's not a performance that could pass as anything better than serviceable. Gemma Arterton does absolutely nothing but stand around looking pretty, plus she and Timberlake has absolutely no chemistry making the romance between them feel completely awkward. Anthony Mackie is completely wasted in this, he may have the only funny moments in the movie, but his scenes are completely perfunctory.
But God-bless Ben Affleck, who seems to know what a miserable pile of dreck he's in, and seems to be the only one having any fun. It's a performance that's so completely beneath him and he's definitely phoning it in, but his character is so deliciously wicked that it's hard not to love him and every scene he's in completely energises the movie. I can't exactly explain what happened but at some point in the third act the character became some kind of super villain that you would only see in the craziest James Bond movies.
Save for Affleck (and a weird cameo by Deadmau5), it's just an incredibly generic and forgettable affair that isn't even worth watching at home, this is the kind of movie that's best left forgotten.
Also it's pronounced AN-TEE-GAH not AN-TI-GUAR.
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