Once in a life every person comes to a point where they realize that in order to achieve their desired goals, they will have to run, to chase their goals like crazy – to leave behind all that has ever been valuable to them, because the spare weight slows down the race. In the chase for the best life, for happiness, for love, we are sometimes forced to forget our fears, our prejudice and our boundaries, because there is no price which we will refuse to pay for winning. Director Brad Furman’s new film, Runner Runner, is about that very race – the one that makes us forget everything in a desperate attempt to reach our goal, to fulfill our aspirations.
The main runner in the Runner Runner race is a young, handsome and talented man who has some serious issues. Whether it is his financial crisis or his emotional struggles, the movie focuses on the struggle at hand. Richie (Justin Timberlake) is a genius. Richie is ambitious and has the most admirable aspirations of going to the best math school in the country to get a degree. However, Richie is also very broke. He’s is abandoned and no one needs him or his amazing gifts. This is a story of how a sweet boy became a runner, and this is how the story of Runner Runner begins. Richie finds himself drawn into the dangerous world of online gambling, and at that very moment his life becomes a race.
After his first loss Richie decides to never play safe again and, under some irrational impulse, he travels to Costa Rica, where he hopes to encounter one of the giants of online gambling. That giant, a businessman played by Ben Affleck, decides that he will never fight a boy, and thus makes the decision to do the opposite. He offers Richie a job he has never dreamed of – he offers him to be his partner and his friend. For a few months, Richie’s world turns into a fairytale and everything he ever dreamed of comes to life. This is where Runner Runner first acquires its rhythms, becoming a splashy, colorful, wild and tempting ride. But we get the sense all along that everything could change in a single fraction of a second. Eventually Richie’s world crashes as gloriously as it was born. The FBI starts an investigation and Richie is their main suspect. The life of a genius online gambler suddenly ceases to be so beautiful. This is where Runner Runner turns into an insane race – a spectacular, terrifying, vertiginous, exciting and deadly race.
We have the opportunity to know now how the race ends and what would happen to Richie, but we have to wait impatiently to find out. Runner Runner is an invigorating, astounding thriller about passion, inconceivable dangers and hazardous scams, breakneck speed and the unique charm of a couple of authentic and adventurous criminals. It lifts the veil on the world of magic of gambling, unimaginable money and imminent death. A reality where the race is vital.
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