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Runner Runner (DQ)


Stars: Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck, Gemma Arterton, Anthony Mackie, Oliver Cooper, Ben Schwartz, Michael Esper, John Heard, David Costabile, Bob Gunton, Sam Palladio

Director: Brad Furman

Moth-eaten thriller centred on gambling and crime. Hotshot college student Justin Timberlake, a late would-be graduate following the collapse of his Wall Street firm, runs the gambling at Princeton University, ignoring warnings from the principal (Gunton) to put a stop to it.

Convinced that he has been cheated out of $17,000 in savings in an online gambling scam, Timberlake heads for Costa Rica, on whose huge casino the scam centred, and is taken in, in more ways than one, by big bad wolf Ben Affleck (presumably hoarding money for his next directorial project), who runs the joint and pays off the authorities to keep it going.

Those who incur his displeasure get thrown to his pet crocodiles.

Horning in on Affleck's girl (Arterton, miscast), Timberlake gets beaten up for his pains trying to deliver an (insufficient) bribe to the local cops, and realises he's the fall guy for his planning-to-flee crimelord employer.

This really is a by-the-numbers thriller with performances to match, okay as a time-killer but nothing more, and completely devoid of any originality, either in theme or treatment thereof. Gaudy, glitzy and as empty as a sucker's wallet.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Technicolor.
91 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 24 Sep 2013