Runner Runner gambles its relevant premise for a mundane plot. Online gambling contributes massively to the entertainment industry. Whether it be your mother playing bingo, slots or even dabbling into a sly game of poker, there's no denying its infectious presence. Naturally, when individuals tell me that this wonderful flick is essentially '21' meets 'The Social Network', my eyes glisten at the idea. Then you watch Runner Runner and eventually conclude that running away from this snooze-fest is the best option. A student lacking the funds to complete his Masters degree, gambles his money and mysteriously loses it all on a gambling website. He travels to meet the boss to claim that he was cheated.
Taking the aforementioned titles, there's poker and craps (not blackjack), no media entrepreneurial flavour (unlike Zuckerberg with Facebook) but there's Timberlake, so it has one common denominator. Unfortunately for this film, it has Timberlake. So you might as well throw that denominator into the ocean and let it drown. The main problem with this "thriller" is that you know exactly how the entire plot will pan out in the first five minutes. A story revolving around stealing is rather self-explanatory and leaves little to the imagination. The engrossing gambling aspect is rapidly discarded to make room for an uninspired money laundering story that lacks interesting characters and a tolerable script. So many underdeveloped clichés are thrown into the mix. FBI agents asking for assistance, a romance with the criminal's girlfriend and the most boring conclusion ever. Everything is tied neatly into a pretty pink bow and shipped off to Puerto Rico.
Timberlake has the emotional range of a dollar bill. Arterton was horrendously underused. But atleast Affleck and Mackie were good, I guess. Furman embeds some nice shots here and there, particularly the parties where lens flares are constantly blinding you, yet it's just a distraction. An attempt to disguise the abhorrently dull story, executed in the most unexciting way possible, and the mediocre acting. Run run run run away!