As I was saying in my review of The Lone Ranger, 2013 had more big studio bombs than usual. Runner Runner was released right after the announcement of Ben Affleck being cast as Batman in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman yet regardless of, or maybe because of, Ben being in the press so much at the time, Runner Runner failed to drum up any business. But as it happens to frequently, just because the critics pan a film, doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad.
Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake) is a Princeton student who is finding himself in a bit of a financial bind. Not having enough money for tuition, he tries online gambling to make up the money he needs, but is cheated out of all his savings. After travelling to Costa Rica to confront the businessman responsible, he ends up working for him and leaving his education behind. But he soon finds out that working for Ivan Block (Ben Affleck) may earn him money, but cost him much more.
I am not really sure why Runner Runner got such bad reviews. It is a thoroughly entertaining con movie held together by strong performances by Affleck and especially Timberlake. The hate could just be stemming from some peoples dislike of the two actors, but I had a good time with the flick. The back and forth power playing between their two characters is really fun to watch, especially when the stakes are really raised for both of them as the film progresses. Anybody that enjoys a good con game film will get plenty of satisfaction from Runner, Runner; don’t let the haters keep you from checking it out.
The Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is very nice, especially when it comes to the beautiful Costa Rica scenery. The picture is crisp and razor sharp with gorgeous colors and a solid soundtrack. Do yourself a favor and judge Runner, Runner for yourself. You might be surprised.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.