A young student, down on his financial luck, finds that a gambling site isn’t playing by the rules and decides to take on its supremo, only to be drawn into a world of corruption and deceit.
A sun kissed setting, a world where money flows as easily as water, and a principle cast that is incredibly talented and attractive, Runner Runner should be a high rolling winner. Alas, under the facade, it’s all a bit… bland.
The cast shine with powerful performance as Justin Timberlake’s Richie (is there a more go-getter name? Scoot, perhaps) battles against Ben Affleck’s Ivan Block (a name that wouldn’t be out of place in a Bond film). Gemma Arterton has little to do as Rebecca, but is still superb, and the presence of Antony Mackie as Agent Shavers is only saved by Mackie’s skill as an actor.
The premise – an every-man (well, as every-man as Richie can be given his business and mathematics acumen) taking on a ruthless business tycoon – is hardly new, but it being set in the world of, primarily, online gambling certainly gives it an edge. Sadly, it’s an edge that is dulled by a script that never settles on what it really wants to be, going from drama to action without ever maintaining either.
Definitely a film where cast and setting will leave you thinking it’s better than it is.