The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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It has an impressive cast and an intriguing premise, but Runner Runner wastes them on a bland, haphazardly assembled thriller with very little payoff.
All Critics (120)
| Top Critics (32)
| Fresh (9)
| Rotten (111)
The actors hit the jackpot, but only in terms of their paychecks. The audience gets a tension-free, tight-assed, Casino ripoff that leaves them thoroughly fleeced.
The mannered speech is fun, the players are charismatic, and director Brad Furman maintains an agreeably brisk pace.
It looks like everybody's lying, and that's only because the acting is pretty bad.
The movie mostly wants to look timely and seem topical. Instead, it feels irrelevant.
Various subplots are given short shrift and the whole thing feels more like a Cliff's Notes version of a longer piece than an actual finished motion picture.
Just when it seems like the writing can't get any lazier, Richie fills in the narrative blanks via a voice-over that squeezes in every gambling metaphor this side of Las Vegas
Runner Runner is a slick, daft and unabashedly entertaining Hollywood thriller. It doesn't do anything new with the formula, but it knows how to engineer it in the correct way.
Runner Runner looks great and has the virtue of moving quickly under Brian Furman's direction, but it plays like a big-budget but otherwise average episode of a TV show about slightly shady people trying to bring down really shady people.
While the script seems very concerned with the formula, it glosses over the details. Everything in the film happens very easily, from losing money to getting close to the highly-protected Block to organizing a counter plan.
No matter how good all this looks, there's not enough tension to keep us on our toes and not enough depth of character to make us care how it all plays out.
The leads, including a demeaned Gemma Arterton, are sparkling high-rollers but no one really emerges a winner from this forgettable low-risk, low-stakes drama.
There may have been a good movie somewhere in Runner Runner but it's not even in sight as it stands nows.
Nothing wrong with the acting, directing or cinematography per se, but the story is just very very mundane and uninteresting. Whoever came up with the idea of telling a story in the online gaming milieu must have really loved it, because everyone else will just react with a gigantic shrug. You can't even cheer for the hero or hate the bad guy, that's how indifferent all that makes you feel.
The plot is indeed predictable and not one bit remarkable for that matter, but even so this is a somewhat decent (and well-edited) thriller that benefits a lot from some good performances - which hold us in our seats as we see it unveil like a fine poker game.
If they gave an award for Worst Movie Trailer for the year, I'm sure this would win it. I remember seeing it and just being like "man that is a horrible trailer, the movie can't possible be that bad", and it actually is. Justin Timberlake plays a Princeton student who loves to gamble and plays online poker to pay his tuition. When he is cheated on a big game and loses everything he decides to go to Costa Rica and confront the man behind the website, Ivan Block(Ben Affleck). So he confronts him and Affleck gives him a refund and offers him a 7 figure job right there on the spot. Yup, just like that. Timberlake then finds out the Block is a bad guy to do business with as the F.B.I is after him. First, the performances are horrible! I like Timberlake and Affleck, but they are so miscast here it's laughable. This is the worst Timberlake has been in a movie yet, and Affleck is the most unconvincing mobster I may have ever seen. There were a couple times in this they had a chance to go further and save the movie, but they hold back. Really makes the movie feel like it is lacking the balls needs for a mobster flick. It's dumb, pointless, and a waste of time. Just skip it and watch "Rounders" instead, now there is a good gambling movie.
Good movie and interesting plot. Justin needs money for his Masters degree at Princeton. He uses an online casino but loses his money. He realises he has been cheated out of his money. He goes to Costa Rica to confront the casino tycoon Ben. Who offers him a job. Movie produced by Leonardo DiCaprio.
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