[Movie Review] Runner Runner (M18)

Runner, Runner is a 2013 American crime drama thriller film directed by Brad Furman, and written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien. The film stars Justin Timberlake, Gemma Arterton and Ben Affleck, and was produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Michael Shamberg, and Stacey Sher.

Lots of big names.

This should be the first movie whereby Justin Timberlake gets to play leading man.

Big question is, can he act well?


Princeton grad student Richie (Justin Timberlake), believing he’s been swindled, travels to Costa Rica to confront online gambling tycoon Ivan Block (Ben Affleck). Richie is seduced by Block’s promise of immense wealth, until he learns the disturbing truth about his benefactor. When Richie is coerced by the FBI to help bring down Block, he faces his biggest gamble ever — outmaneuvering the two forces closing in on him.

I like the story premise.

For someone working in the online industry, this whole setting about a geek being sucked into the online gambling business and making immense wealth effortlessly definitely has its allure!

At the point where Ivan Block gave Richie the option to join him or walk away, I find myself rooting for Richie to stay. I would probably had done the same if I was in his shoes.

It was a whirlwind of a story build-up and the audience is kept in suspense till the point whereby the two protagonists finally met face-to-face.

From that point on, the story became a little too predictable and formulaic. It is still an enjoyable movie overall, but I think it would have done better with either more depth in the storyline or deeper characters development.

Runner Runner is now showing in Singapore cinemas. Go catch it if you are into mainstream movies. It should offer a fun ride into the world of online gambling without getting too heavy into morality and other related issues. 🙂


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