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A Review of the 2013 Film Runner Runner

The 2013 Film Runner Runner

Runner Runner is an American crime thriller that was directed by Brad Furman. The film was released on the 4th of October 2013 in the United States and on the 25th of September 2013 in France; Belgium and the Philippines. Various other countries saw the release of the film on the days that followed.

Writing of the script for Runner Runner was a collaboration between Brian Koppelman and David Levien and tells the story of cheating at online gambling.

The Production of Runner Runner

The film was produced by Arnon Michan; Leonard DiCaprio; Michael Shamberg; Stacey Sher and others through Regency Enterprises and the film was distributed by 20th Century Fox.

The locations for filming were Princeton University in New Jersey and Puerto Rico which took place in 2012 from summer through winter. Runner Runner cost roughly $30 million to make.

The Reception and Box Office

Runner Runner received a critical response citing that the film was bland and wasted on a haphazard thriller plot with little to no pay off.

It was however noted that the cast was impressive and the premise was intriguing.

Regardless of the critical response, Runner Runner grossed over $7 million on the opening weekend making it third highest.

Between the United States and the rest of the world the film grossed a total of $62.7 million.

A Brief Synopsis of the Film

Runner Runner stars Justin Timberlake who plays Richie, a student who pays his Princeton tuition by referred fellow students to online gambling sites.

When he is caught, he is threatened with expulsion. He starts playing online poker to raise funds to pay his fees.

After losing all of his money, even though he is an exceptional player, he reviews the statistics of the games and becomes aware that someone is cheating and he is able to prove it.

He takes a trip to Costa Rica to face up to Ivan Block, Ben Affleck, the owner of the online site that cheated him. Upon seeing the statistics, Ivan fires the staff involved in the scheme and offers Richie a very high paying job.

While working for Ivan, he is approached by the FBI wanting his help in convicting Ivan. Richie confides this to Ivan who reveals that he is aware of the FBI and their dealings.

Richie becomes aware that Ivan’s business is not ethical as bribery, corruption and threats are becoming the norm.

He also realises that the firm is a Ponzi scheme and that no online player’s money is safe as it all is in Ivan’s private bank account. Ivan finds out that Richie knows and kidnaps his father, holding him hostage so that Richie will continue to work for him.

Ivan also plants drugs on Richie, preventing him from leaving Costa Rica. Richie decides it is time to take revenge and with the information he obtained from local police and his lover Rebecca, Gemma Arterton, he knows that Ivan is about to leave Costa Rica and leave him behind to take the blame for everything.

Richie starts to play Ivan’s game by bribing local officials and police. Ivan flies away on his private jet and revels in the fact that he got away with the crime but as his jet lands he realises that Richie has bribed to pilot to take him to American soil, where the FBI is allowed to arrest him.

You can watch the trailer for Runner Runner below:

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