By STEPHANIE VASQUEZ
The thriller movie “Runner Runner” was released to theaters on Oct. 4. Starring pop singer Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck, the movie was rich with suspense and kept viewers on the edge of their seats.
Richie First (Timberlake) is a graduate student at Princeton who is making his way through college by gambling, an art he learned from his father. Although Richie did not support his father’s gambling because it was dangerous, this is his only way of paying for his graduate school.
Audiences learn in the beginning of the film that Richie was taken advantage of by a previous company on Wall Street who took all his money. After realizing he is a couple thousand dollars short of paying for his tuition, Richie decides to turn to his primary income; gambling. Richie ends up losing all his savings, not because he lost, but because he was cheated.
After getting cheated, Richie goes to Costa Rica to meet up with the infamous offshore gambler, Ivan Block (Affleck). Director Brad Furman builds an intriguing relationship between Richie and Ivan, which engages the audience. Ivan recognizes Richie’s talent and offers him a job, thus setting the stage for his eventual downfall
Furman’s 91-minute film provides an intensity that slowly builds throughout the movie. As Richie is confronted by the FBI and forced to provide information on Ivan, the suspense ramps up. After realizing that there is no way of getting out of the situation without ramifications from Ivan or the FBI, Richie begins to plan against Ivan.
The audience is left to see the adventure of how Richie struggles to get away from Ivan’s business, despite the fact that the FBI is preventing him from leaving Costa Rica. The suspense ramps up as victims of Ivan start to become alligator food, and the audience is left to think that Richie will soon follow suit.
While “Runner Runner” provides a pleasurable one-time viewing experience, the movie is unlikely to stand up to multiple views. The story line, which is purportedly based off of a real event, is compelling in the moment, but will not stay with viewers. However, “Runner Runner” is a good choice for audiences looking for an exciting and engaging new film.