Sunday, 27 October 2013

287, Runner Runner

Runner Runner is a quirky little no brainer that sees University student Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake) as a broke student - desperate to get through to graduation but with funds causing a problem - and the Dean looking to bring an abrupt halt to his dodgy casino referral business on campus he has no choice but to gamble his remaining few thousand dollars on a bid to secure enough cash to finish his degree.

With a flair for numbers - Furst is confused when his early winning streak on a certain on-line gambling blackjack site takes a turn for the worst and after being outplayed at every hand - decides to look a bit deeper into the website, only to discover a fix in the program - cheating him out of his college fund.

In a weird plan to seek out the site's owner and resident multi millionaire Ivan Block (Ben Affleck), residing in Cuba and basically ask for his money back, Furst (after discovering the supposed 'bug' in the software) ends up being offered a 7 figure salary to work with Block as the local numbers guru and cash runner between Block and the authorities that allow him to keep his under the table operation running but wanting to have his cake and eat it - Block has his own plan to swindle the local authorities and make off to another non extradition country, leaving Furst as the fall guy for the whole operation.

Affleck and Timberlake are just standard in this movie although the supporting cast of Gemma Arterton as Block's right hand lady and object of Timerlake's desires Rebecca Shafran and the FBI lead agent on the Block case, Agent Shavers (Anthony Mackie) do manage to shine. 

I'm not sure if I was just expecting more from the two male leads but this movie just comes across as a time filler.  A quick pay check for those involved as they all gear up for bigger and better things over the next few years.

This film does have a lot of good things about it though - Arterton for one just keeps getting better and better and as expected - dazzles on the glamour front, furthering her own career I'm sure in the process, as well as breaking even more hearts along the way.

The story is fast paced and punchy and Timberlakes character is soon faced with the imminent threat of danger - forcing him to make his own plans to ensure he's not left holding the baby when it all goes tits up!

The only thing I have an issue with in this movie was the ending, which is sad as it takes the entire pace out of the film.  Block - an international gambling entrepreneur and general Mr Nasty just seemingly appears to give up in a very much - "Oh blast, you got me" scene that you expect so much more from and it just doesn't come.

That aside - getting there was fun enough so lets forgive the lame finale.  On the whole, an enjoyable and unexpected film that crept up on me with no real prior knowledge and one I'd recommend if you're after a no brainer, light hearted thriller with a few smiles along the way.