Richie Furst (Timberlake) is a broke Princeton Uni student who gambles what little money he does have on an online poker site. And he loses. Usually, he is a good poker player so smelling a rat, he verifies that something is indeed amiss with one of his tech geek buddies. He then sets off to Costa Rica to recoup his loses from the site’s owner Ivan Block (Affleck).
Block is impressed with Furst’s financial acumen and promptly offers him a position with the company. He promises an eight figure income within a very short period of time. Furst, unsurprisingly, is in. He is given free rein within his position, even bringing in some of his own people, and quickly becomes a part of the inner circle.
A part of this inner circle is Block’s gorgeous business partner Rebecca (Arterton) who is a smart yet no-nonsense woman but who shares a tangible tension with the starry-eyed Furst. How this tension develops remains to be seen. Well I know, obviously, but I wont spoil it for everyone else.
Block’s business is based in Costa Rica for many reasons……one is that he is wanted by the government and therefore cannot return to American soil. Part of the system for him to remain in Costa Rica is a complicated and regular bribery process. But one of the Government officials who can actually make trouble for Block is demanding more money and naturally, Block is none too happy about this.
One afternoon, Furst is kidnapped by FBI Agent Shavers (Mackie) and given two choices…..work with the FBI to nail Block or have a warrant issued and he too will be unable to return to the United States. Furst believes that Block is an honest business man and opts to take his chances and stays on in Costa Rica. He is rewarded for his loyalty but soon after, things start to take a turn for the worse and Furst slowly becomes aware that all may not be what it seems.
Runner Runner, Costa Rica actually, has some of the most gorgeous scenery and beaches I have seen in a long time. It truly is a visually stunning country and the cinematographer does a great job of showcasing it’s beauty while not ignoring it’s grinding poverty. The scenes of great wealth, vast sums of money and high tech gadgetry, all showcased with harsh soulless clarity is affectingly juxtaposed with views of shanty towns, run down houses and cafes but all gloriously colourful and heavy with character, vibrancy and life.
And this is where anything other than the very ordinary ceases,
This movie is okay. Yep just okay. If it was the only thing on offer, I would say yeah go…..it’s not a waste of money and will fill 2 hours. But I wouldnt recommend it either. The script is not to bad and it does have a twist or two but not enough to be a truly good movie.
I have always been a Timberlake fan but now it’s becoming more apparent that if take him out of a niche character and ask him to build a new one in 90 minutes, you get very little. Affleck is……well he is like a vanilla sponge cake. We all love sponge cake but it’s so….. vanilla. And a little dull. Go back behind the camera Ben…..you are at your best writing and directing.
So this one I am giving a sold meh …..
Love Flick xx
Starring : Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake, Gemma Arterton, Michael Esper, Anthony Mackie, Christian George, Oliver Cooper, John Heard, Yul Vazquez
Running Time : 91 minutes
Release Date : In Cinemas Now …