Saturday, 28 September 2013

Review: Runner Runner

World of Blackout Film Review

Runner Runner Poster

Runner Runner
Cert: 15 / 91 mins / Dir. Brad Furman

I wanted to like this. Really, I did. Timberlake and Arterton aren't going to change the world, but they're usually a good bet to turn up and read their lines, and I enjoy watching Affleck, even if I don't like some of the movies he's been in. But Runner Runner is like a celluloid anaesthetic, and they only make it worse, somehow. In different hands (and with a different cast), this could have bee a slick, tense thriller, yet Brad Furman's made a plodding, clockwork also-ran, filled with characters you don't care about, either way.

This was the main problem for me; I didn't hate Affleck's corrupt, double-crossing casino-lord, Ivan Block, and I didn't side with Timberlake's naive, greedy, smart-arsed maths genius, Richie Furst (and Arterton's one-note wonder, Rebecca, could have been played by anyone, she had so little to do). I didn't even form an opinion either way on Mackie's hard-nosed, rough-diamond, corner-cutting FBI agent, Shavers. I just spent an hour and a half not really giving a shit about them either way; I didn't have to as everything in the story is so linear that you don't need to wonder how it's going to end.

It never gets 'terrible', but Runner Runner is so dull it never even breaks into a jog. If you want to see a movie where a student gets into money problems with gambling to try and fund his tuition, 21 isn't too shabby (despite the RT score).

Is the trailer representative of the film?
Not really; the trailer looks fairly interesting.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Not really.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Not really.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
DVD, tops.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Not really.

Will I watch it again?
Not really.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
There isn't, no.

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
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