Runner Runner

‘Runner Runner’ Runs on Empty

Runner Runner promotional poster.

In terms of plot and character, Runner Runner leaves a lot to be desired. Justin Timberlake plays Richie Furst (Rich First, come on), an online gambler who has to risk it all to earn enough tuition to complete his master’s degree at Princeton. After realizing the scam behind a suspicious loss, he finds himself sucked into the seedy poker underbelly of Costa Rica and under the thumb of his ruthless American boss, Ivan Block (Ben Affleck). They get territorial over shared one-dimensional love interest Rebecca (Gemma Arterton) to add some manliness. An FBI agent (Anthony Mackle) tries to blackmail Richie with exile in order to take out Block. Eighty percent of the movie is Justin Timberlake looking confused or angry while other people monologue at him. We are supposed to really care about whether or not Richie makes it out of there before the house of cards comes crashing down, despite the fact that he has little to no character depth. Block really likes alligators. Conclusion: Internet poker is even more of a snooze fest than I originally thought.