HOLLYWOOD—I knew after seeing the trailer for “Runner, Runner” in the theater that it wouldn’t be a good movie, and my intuition was quite right.  This thriller, which stars musician Justin Timberlake and Oscar-winner Ben Affleck, lacks a spark of chemistry from the two main characters.  It almost feels as if they shouldn’t even share the screen together, but the spectator is forced to see the pairing.

Timberlake portrays college student, Richie Furst who is funding his education atPrincetonthrough online gambling. Greed gets the best of Furst who loses all his money in an online poker game; but Richie is wise, he knows the game was fixed against him.

Determined to get behind the scandal of things, he travels to Costa Rica where he meets Ivan Block (Ben Affleck), the mastermind behind the biggest online gambling websites in the world. Here’s the thing, “Runner, Runner,” is not a terrible movie, there have just been other movies made like “Rounders” starring Matt Damon and “21” starring Kevin Spacey that were much better.

If you’re going to make a great heist/caper movie, it has to be thrilling.  This movie never really presents to the audience a massive scheme is taking place and it’s not intricate enough to fool the spectator of just what is taking place.  Audiences are smart, and many films fail to give that credit to the average moviegoer, you never want to be ‘directly’ told information, it’s better to allow that info to unfold and for us to discover it ourselves.

Affleck, is semi-good as the villain, but his character comes across a bit too jokey to be a menace.  Timberlake, who is the star of the picture, never brings it; he still comes across as a supporting player to Affleck’s character even though the movie is about his desire to bring down a criminal mastermind. The pairing of these two actors just isn’t believable enough in my opinion.

The script is not polished with witty dialogue and a plot that keeps the audience on its toes and the ending could be spotted a mile away.  “Runner, Runner” had the potential to be a great thriller, but a few missteps has pushed the movie into a direction that will not be appeasing to any movie lover, especially those of a great caper.

By LaDale Anderson