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Times of India
: A brilliant Princeton math student attempts to rescue his broke bank account by risking all in an online poker game. After he's cheated of his last cent, he flies to Costa Rica to sort things out with the owner of that gambling website.
: You've seen thrillers that are intricate, detailed and unfold at their own pace, allowing the viewer an immersive experience. Runner Runner isn't quite like that. It's a breezy film that runs breathlessly from start to finish, pretty much as the movie title suggests it does.
Richie (Timberlake) is a razor-sharp Poker hand who can't resist a good deal. He loses everything one night even as his pals watch disbelievingly. When he reaches gambling haven Costa Rica, he meets the uber-smooth, louche and nefarious gambling tycoon and villain Ivan (Affleck), who predictably enough, takes Richie under his wing, and throws wads of dollar bills his way every now and then as rewards.
One of those rewards is also a chance to sleep with his oomphy and curvaceous (even if somewhat vacuous) moll, Rebecca (Arterton), whom Richie begins to lustfully eye almost as soon as he becomes a part of Ivan's Clicquot-swilling clique.
So swayed is Richie that it takes a sudden intervention from FBI Agent Shavers (Mackie) to forcefully let Richie know about the rot in Ivan's Caribbean Empire of Sin. Soon, Richie gets to know what the old adage 'never trust a gambler' means.
Affleck is at ease in his role and has some good lines. It's pretty apparent that Timberlake channels more than a few stylistic touches and mannerisms from some of his recent roles. Early on in the movie, Furman shifts focus from Poker to something else. Arterton's Rebecca seems comfortable with being the eye-candy and is every part the bombshell, a much-needed counterpoint in this casino boogie of a movie, otherwise full of tumbling dice and dirty deals in broad daylight.
A promising plot like this could have offered you a full course, yet what you're served is diet fare at best.