Runner Runner (2013)

He’s Bruce Wayne, and he’s bringing sexy back. So why the gambling again?

Sometimes when you have an addiction, it’s just too hard to let it settle down and end. Sometimes, hell, you just got to go all in and see if luck can come out on your side, and that’s exactly what Princeton graduate student Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake) does. However, in his case, lucks doesn’t come out on his side, but more or less comes over to his side, bites his ass, takes all of his money, and leaves him squandering with pennies, nickels, and dimes in his hand. This all happens to Richie when he decides to pull-out an all-nighter on an online gambling site so that he can pay his college-tuition, and out of there like swimwear. But once Richie does get screwed over by this site and realizes that it may be something of a “cheat” implemented by another user, Richie decides to take his problem to the source, owner of said site, billionaire playboy Ivan Block (Ben Affleck).

You have to face it, even as dumb and as idiotic as these gambling movies may be, they still know how to have a little bit of fun as if you are right there, betting all of your money and luck, running the high risk of losing that all, and either actually doing so, or pulling off the impossible and winning. Yes, these movies are insanely corny and predictable-to-a-T, but you can’t help but join in the fun when you see a bunch of really good-looking, really rich, and really powerful people just soaking up the sun, swimming in pools of Benjamins, and even better, going back to bed and shagging as many dames as they ordered.

He just can't bring himself to leave the $20,000 yacht. Nobody can.
He just can’t bring himself to leave the $20,000 yacht. Nobody can.

Seriously, it’s just the life all of us wish we had, except, we don’t. Instead, we just sit in front of our computers, talk shit about the movies that portray these beings, and act as if we’re better off in our sad, little pathetic lives of normalcy. Cause guess what: We aren’t!! Deep down inside, we all want to be doing exactly what these hunks and hookers are doing in these gambling movies, and it makes it easy for us to be against them, rather than with them and just enjoying all of the fun, the glitz, and the glamour while it still lasts and the bill hasn’t come in yet.

That said, this movie is so stupid, that if you were to talk some shit against it, I would not only back you up in a fight, but agree with you on everything you state, and say that it is fact. Yes, the movie is poorly-written and feature situation-after-situation that would never, ever possibly happen in real life, let alone, should happen in a movie no less, yet, still does happen and makes you question whether or not these writers really thought that “sheer stupidity”, actually meant “creative and cool”. Everybody is given laughable dialogue to work with and you just don’t know who’s game for this type of material, or are just trying their hardest to collect that paycheck in hopes that they’ll be able to go home, get on their type-writers, and start cranking out actual interesting, thoughtful pieces of work.

Most likely, Ben’s chipping away right now. Oh wait, I forgot, he’s a LITTLE occupied at the moment, so I guess this just leaves Mr. JT to do all of the smart thinking in his downtime.

Speaking of said former-boy band leader, Justin Timberlake, Lord bless him, does all that he possibly can to make this material work for him and the others around him, but he just can’t. It’s evident that he can’t play tough in a way that would work in an action movie, and he can’t really spout-out math numbers and try to sound smart while doing it, as if it was the first thing coming out of his pretentious mind. He tries, and he tries, and he tries, but he just does not work in this role and I don’t know if it’s a bad case of shitty casting, shitty acting, shitty material, or a shitty combination of all three. More than likely, it is, and I feel bad even hating on JT right now since I can’t get “Take Back the Night” out of my freakin’ head! Seriously though: Why does a song have to be so damn catchy!?!?!?

Goes from JENNifer, to GEMMa. Yeah, that's all I got.
Goes from JENNifer, to GEMMa. Yeah, that’s all I got.

And even though the dude is getting more than enough crap for the iconic role he took no less than 3 months ago, Ben Affleck still shows all of them naysayers why he’s so good at what he does, that he doesn’t need to worry about how many tweets hashtag about him not being right for Battie, he just needs to have a good time and allow us to do so in return. With that said, he definitely does do so as Ivan Block and made the film so much damn fun to watch whenever he was around. Everything he says whether it’s insinuating sex, murder, more money, or a business deal in-the-works, the guy’s just so much fun to watch as he makes you laugh at just about everything he says. The lines he’s given are dumb, yes, very much so, however, he rolls with them like the champ that he truly is and never lets you forget that this is HIS character, and HIS way of performing him. See what I’m doing there? Like I’ve said before, peeps, give it time and allow him to shine. Once you give him that time of day, then you can continue to be angry. But until then, pipe up and enjoy him while you still can.

But I feel like, as usual, this review is getting further and further away from my damn point, which is: It’s fun. It is as obvious, as predictable, and as dopey as you can get, yet, the movie has some fun with itself and with all of its money, and in the beginning of October, what else can you ask for? Not much else, so enjoy, dammit!

Consensus: Wooden script and acting from people who deserve a lot, lot better than Runner Runner, however, they make the best of it with what they can and for that, it’s worth a watch, and not needed to be taken seriously.

5 / 10 = Rental!!

"Late-90's, man. That was OUR time. Now what the fuck is this?"
“Late-90’s, man. That was OUR time. Now what the fuck is this?”

Photo’s Credit to:


  1. Yo Danno – in the 2nd image above – didn’t you mean a $20,000,000 yacht.?

    Otherwise thanks. I’ll save my money and not see this ove until it shows up as a DVD rental


  2. I got to see this last night at a screening, so at least I didnt spend any money on it. I was dying to see it, because with three great leads this could have been a great movie. The only vaulable lesson I learned is I need to lose about $17k to date the beautiful Gemma Arterton! All the trouble he went through would totally be worth it ha ha.

  3. I’m starting to think I want to run the other way when I see JT’s name associated with a movie… The trail for this looked good but I don’t know, maybe I’ll check it out when/if it lands on Netflix.

  4. I think I liked this one a little better then you, I thought JT tried. Ben was amazing, and the poor female lead just seemed overwhelmed by the fact that she was just eye candy. The best line in the movie is what the detective said at the end to Ben. I will leave it there and not give the movie away. Good review.

  5. As mentioned in a previous review, this film is a bit too familiar to be an exciting watch. Having said that, the performances, particularly Affleck, were of good quality and each leading actor portrayed their characters well. This is not an intelligent nor original film, but the location and storyline do add a sense of refreshment to the formulaic ‘good guy trumps’ action/thriller plot. I enjoyed the film. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat, nor was I glued to the screen, but the fact that we had the whole screening room to ourselves meant that we could quip freely about what was going on, and this naturally added to my enjoyment. There were a few unintentionally funny moments, mostly near the end, but that may be more of a personal observation and many viewers may have a different view on that. Affleck was convincing and strong as the shady, ruthless business tycoon and delivered his lines with appealing finesse. Timberlake was a good choice for the role as an initially thin-skinned Prinston student, and his development as a character was well-timed throughout. Overall, I enjoyed the film, but it’s not one I would rave about to friends. ‘Prisoners’ was showing at the same time and while I haven’t seen it yet, I can say with a relative degree of certainty that it would be a more compelling and rewarding watch.

    More about the movie you can also find it here

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