In a future where people stop aging at 25, but are engineered to live only one more year, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth. Here, Will Salas finds himself accused of murder and on the run with a hostage - a connection that becomes an important part of the way against the system.
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
Although set in Costa Rica, the majority of the scenes in the movie are filmed in Puerto Rico. See more »
When Ritchie walks on the boat Ivan is chopping a fish with a glove on his left hand. When he shakes hands the glove is gone. See more »
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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I was sorely tempted to write a single word review of Runner Runner: Pointless!
But I'll resist and expand slightly.
The trailer strongly suggests an intelligent, exciting thriller of crime and intrigue with A-list stars, action, drama, plenty of danger and a soupçon of violence. The realty of Runner Runner is somewhat blander.
Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake) is a Princeton student with moderate financial worries, who supports himself through online gambling. When he risks everything (except the price of his airline ticket to Costa Rica, clearly) on a game and loses, he discovers he has been swindled and heads south to confront the man behind the poker company and scam, Ivan Block (Ben Affleck). Block is so impressed with Furst's balls that he offers him a job with eight-figure returns. With the chance to join the super rich, all the pleasures it encompasses and, predictably, a beautiful woman, Rebecca (Gemma Arterton), who equally predictably is Block's girlfriend, Furst's life couldn't be any better. Then FBI agent Shavers (Anthony Mackie) interferes.
The ingredients are there but it just doesn't work. The characters are half-written shadows of people about whom we don't care. There is no depth, detail or intrigue to inspire us to invest our attention and, though we try to second guess the plot and look for the twists and double crosses lurking in the background, it transpires there are none to speak of and what we see is the sum total of it.
Timberlake is on something of a downward trajectory after the superb The Social Network. Neither Bad Teacher nor Trouble with the Curve ignited and his turn in Runner Runner, though adequate, does nothing to persuade us he's an A-lister in Hollywoodland.
Affleck, however, was ridding high with the supreme success of Argo and the promise of more box office clout with the forthcoming Gone Girl and Batman vs. Superman. Runner Runner isn't going to damage his career but it certainly isn't going to boost it.
Meanwhile, there are times when Gemma Arterton frequently forgets to act (and can't pronounce Antigua) and Mackie is lumbered with a role that diminishes even the 'heights' of Pain and Gain.
Somebody really needs to shake director Brad Furman, turn him around and point him in the direction of a sequel to his fine The Lincoln Lawyer.
Runner Runner isn't a bad film. It's just a bland, boring, forgettable, dull thud with no echo.
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