“Runner Runner” will make you run out of the theater

Christopher Guillen, TSV Staff Wrier

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Picture yourself at one of the most prestigious schools in the nation, Princeton University, on the verge of being kicked out for your not-so-secret addiction to online gambling. As you sit a your desk reflecting on the choices you must make, you decide to gamble one last time and bet all of the money you have. Unsurprisingly, you loose the game and all the money you have played for is gone, but something wasn’t right: you were cheated. To find out what happened, you must go on a quest to Costa Rica to get what was wrongly taken away from you back.

This film stars Justin Timberlake (“The Social Network”), Ben Affleck (“Argo”), Gemma Arterton (“Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters”), and Anthony Mackie (“The Fifth Estate”).

Poorly directed by Brad Furman, the film follows Richie Furst (Timberlake), a young Princeton University student that pays for school by referring his classmates to an online gambling site. We also meet Ivan Block (Affleck), a gambling tycoon at the head of the multi-million dollar online gambling site. Block, however, runs this unethical business on the coast of Costa Rica.

“Runner Runner” is a truly upsetting film with a huge lack of genuine suspense or thrill. The film is described as a crime thriller, but when watching you notice that there is no actual thrill in any part of this movie.

The film consists of a poorly acted villain who lacks strength and security in this role. Affleck lacks the true persona of a bad guy. He also played this role like a tree, never showing any of the Oscar-winning acting from “Argo.”

Timberlake takes his role head-on and tries to make it his own, but he seemed too old for the part and didn’t have what it took to make Furst exciting enough. An actor a lot younger and tougher would have been better.

You notice as the credits roll that this film lacked a strong story line that would keep someone entertained for an hour and a half. Writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien were in charge of creating that message and have it conveyed on screen by the actors playing out the roles, but as we can all tell Koppelman and Levien seemed to just write a bunch of words that simply didn’t grasp the audience’s attention. This was helped by the film’s slow pacing.

It lacked originality and needed more thrilling scenes. The cast could have been alright, as proof through their previously successful films, but the strong acting was not there when it needed to be.

As I was watching this film, it seemed like I had already seen the story quite a few times before. It started getting boring halfway through, and by the end I had completely lost interest. This movie was pretty much a bunch of pieces of a film not pieced together correctly and poorly edited. I started wondering why I had watched it in the first place. There was little to no action scenes in the film, most of the film just a cluster of math which had me yawning and snoring the whole way through.

There were only two good things about this film: the soundtrack and the romance. The soundtrack was unbelievable, the songs correctly placed to the shots in the film. I, for once, would purchase the soundtrack for myself because how how great it was.

One of other things that made this movie somewhat interesting was the love triangle formed by Timberlake, Affleck, and Arterton. This was what keep me from just getting up out of my seat because you never knew what move Block would make. Even this, however, proved disappointing overall. The lack of action or an actual story line made the film hard to grasp and difficult to understand.

It is of no surprise that “Gravity” and “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” both beat out “Runner Runner” for the top two spots in this weekends box office. “Runner Runner” didn’t really stay true to its promise and was rarely jaw dropping or had me on the edge of my seat. Instead of sitting through this movie for an hour and a half, I would be running running out of the theater; I would suggest you not waste ten dollars on this movie.

Keep your money in your pockets because a whole bunch of great movies are on their way in the next few months.