Monday, 14 April 2014



Another blind, shiny, colourful but empty thriller with no real depth to it, another watchable B-movie full of pretty people in sunny locations. It's technically fine, it isn't actively dull, it rattles along pleasantly enough for its 91 minutes and doesn't outstay its welcome, and it has little to distinguish it from a primetime TV show. There's no real flair or panache, no character, it may be passable but it's never anything more than passable, and it never feels like anything more than a time filler.

Runner Runner is apparently a poker term, so probably meaningless to anyone who doesn't know the difference between going south and going cow (thanks, Wikipedia). Justin Timberlake jets down to Costa Rica to confront Ben Affleck, the boss of the offshore gambling website that's cheated him of all his money (which he needed to keep up with his Princeton fees): Affleck offers to take him on as his assistant. Seduced by the prospect of [1] easy millions and [2] Gemma Arterton, he signs up - but is immediately pressured by the FBI into finding evidence against Affleck, or face jail himself on cooked-up drugs charges....

It's okay but nothing that exciting: Timberlake is a fairly charmless and uninteresting lead, and Affleck is basically doing a generic slimy villain performance. Of slightly more interest is that one of the production companies involved is Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way (DiCaprio is one of the film's producers), leading one to speculate as to whether he was actually going to be in this at some point. And since it would have come between The Great Gatsby and The Wolf Of Wall Street, two other films in which he would have been dripping with wealth, maybe he decided not to? Trouble is, if you're idly musing about alternate casting as the movie's actually running, then the movie isn't really gripping you. Runner Runner isn't awful, it's a perfectly functional rental which is entertaining enough while it's on but scarcely memorable or noteworthy.



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