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  • August 27, 2014

Movie: Runner Runner - Ladue News: Arts & Entertainment

Movie: Runner Runner

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Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013 12:00 pm | Updated: 1:20 pm, Thu Oct 10, 2013.

OK, let’s not waste too much of anyone’s time with this. The film already took 90 minutes of mine that I’ll never get back. I want to make one thing very clear: I am not opposed to the occasional eye-candy-movie. Yes, it’s Oscar season. Yes, we have the right to deserve some sort of effort. Yes, filmmaking is an art. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with watching scantily clad people running in slow motion on a beach every once in a while. My overly drawn-out point is this: I didn’t hate this movie because it’s eye candy. If anything, I disliked it more because it wasn’t eye candy. When all you have to offer is good-looking stars, let the slow motion games begin.

Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake) is a graduate student at Princeton who loses all of his tuition money playing online poker. Now, right out of the shoot, one might assume that a jaded finance guy earning an advanced degree might have an inkling that online gaming was sketchy, but I’ll let that go. I think the word you’re looking for is: anyway… In a completely logical next step, Richie flies to Costa Rica to confront gambling kingpin Ivan Block (Ben Affleck). Shockingly, Ivan gives Richie a job; and more unpredictable still, Richie gets in over his head as he lifts the rock of the gambling world to glimpse the dark underbelly.

That’s it. The movie is plodding, predictable, unoriginal, pedestrian and worst of all, it’s not eye candy. The movie is set at a resort. You have Justin Timberlake in a leading role. The man has many talents, but acting isn’t one of them. I guess the filmmakers thought beach bodies and gratuitous sex would diminish the film. Little did they know that can’t be done. It’s a 4.

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