Runner, Runner is about a Princeton MBA student (Justin Timberlake) who is earning his way through school by working for an online, offshore gambling corporation. When he gets shut down by the school’s administration, he decides to take a risk and gamble with his own money. When he loses, he figures out that the company is cheating, and decides to go to Costa Rica and confront the company’s owner (Ben Affleck), but gets offered a job instead. That’s when things start to get really crazy: Wild parties, disgusting amounts of money thrown around like it’s nothing, crocodiles, bribery, the FBI and good old-fashioned megalomania.
Affleck is pretty good as a bad guy, a role we don’t see him in too often (maybe last time was The Town?). His character is narcissistic, ruthless, dishones, and charming — a classic sociopath. Justin Timberlake is also pretty good as an ambitious, smart, greedy, yet somehow earnest guy who gets caught up with the wrooooooong crowd, to say the least. He definitely chooses roles wel, and doesn’t stretch himself beyond roles in which he’s capable of being believable. The redhead from Quantum of Solace who ends up drowned in oil and dumped naked on Bond’s bed (Gemma Arterton) shows up here as Affleck’s right hand woman.
The plot is pretty predictable and probably a bit tired, and the movie overall is fairly vacuous, and doesn’t really have much of a message. But, that said, it’s moderately entertaining. Don’t expect too much and you’ll be alright.