Release date in Malaysia: September 26th 2013
Distributor / studios: 20th Century Fox / Regency Ent. & more
Genre: Crime, drama, thriller
Running Time: 91 minutes
Director: Brad Furman
Writers: Brian Koppelman, David Levien
Cast: Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake, Gemma Arterton
Synopsis: Princeton grad student Richie, believing he’s been swindled, travels to Costa Rica to confront online gambling tycoon Ivan Block. Richie is seduced by Block’s promise of immense wealth, until he learns the disturbing truth about his benefactor. When the FBI tries to coerce Richie to help bring down Block, Richie faces his biggest gamble ever: attempting to outmaneuver the two forces closing in on him.
Verdict: When a Hollywood film is released in Asia before in the US with embargoes on reviews, it’s most likely a crappy movie. Runner, Runner turned out to be worse than what its trailers suggest, basically the lamer version of the film adaptation of 21 (2008). The plot is so unoriginal and corny that it can’t even possibly be a spoiler if I told you here that in the end, the protagonist (Justin Timberlake) gets the antagonist (Ben Affleck) caught for his crimes and gets to live happily ever after with the chick (Gemma Arterton). It’s amazing how this short, no-brainer, typical, twist-less, uninspiring script, that’s filled with stating-the-obvious dialogues and inconsistencies, was written by not one but two people with the film directed by another different person. Also, intensity of the characters and the situation is completely absent thanks to the cliched and cheesy acting performance of the entire cast. The only thing that’s convincing in the film is how incredibly corrupted Costa Rica is portrayed to be.
Girlfriend’s opinion: “Predictable and boring.”
What does the title Runner Runner means? From the press notes provided – “Runner Runner” is an expression unknown to all but perhaps the most ardent gamblers. For the uninitiated, here’s a quick explanation: In the game of poker Texas hold ‘em, each player is dealt two “hole cards,” which they keep to themselves. Then three cards are dealt face up – also known as The Flop. The fourth card dealt up is The Turn and the fifth card is The River. Sometimes a player will get the two cards he needs on The Turn and The River – a very lucky break that is also known as “runner runner.”
Malaysian censorship: Nothing was cut at the press screening besides sex and nudity if my memory serves me right. If our local board of censorship aren’t too free, they’d leave it this way.
Rating: 0.5 / 5
Movie stills / images: View ’em here.