Princeton grad student Richie, believing he's been swindled, travels to Costa Rica to confront online gambling tycoon Ivan Block. Richie is seduced by Block's promise of immense wealth, until he learns the disturbing truth about his benefactor. When the FBI tries to coerce Richie to help bring down Block, Richie faces his biggest gamble ever: attempting to outmaneuver the two forces closing in on him.
You know it's a good sign when the title has nothing to do with the
Here's a film that begins one way but winds up being something else
Justin Timberlake plays a Princeton student paying his way through
tuition costs by playing online poker, one day he loses big and finds
out later he was cheated. He then heads out to Costa Rica to confront
the owner of the website (Ben Affleck), but soon winds up in his
When the movie begins it plays out very much like The Social Network,
everyone is talking fast, there's a thumping electronic score and
there's lots of impossible to follow jargon being tossed around. But
once we get to Costa Rica it turns into one of those crime movies where
you have the good intentioned innocent guy being pulled into the
underbelly by the charming criminal.
The movie is boring, deathly boring.
The whole time you find yourself listening to bland, completely
uninspired dialogue that exists only to get straight to the point to
keep the movie flowing. With one of the most banal generic plots you
could possibly fathom. You find yourself as a viewer one step ahead of
all the characters in the film because it's a movie that's been made a
million times before, there is not a single unique surprise in the
The entire film trundles along with scene after scene of boring lazy
dialogue, obvious foreshadowing and almost no action scenes.
Plus the film just looks cheap, characters who live in these huge
extravagant, completely senseless homes will walk into some dingy room
to talk for ten minutes. The direction and photography is completely
dead, there is not a single creative flair to heighten the feel of the
Justin Timberlake was excellent in The Social Network, but he hasn't
shined in anything since. He's not bad in this movie, but it's not a
performance that could pass as anything better than serviceable. Gemma
Arterton does absolutely nothing but stand around looking pretty, plus
she and Timberlake has absolutely no chemistry making the romance
between them feel completely awkward. Anthony Mackie is completely
wasted in this, he may have the only funny moments in the movie, but
his scenes are completely perfunctory.
But God-bless Ben Affleck, who seems to know what a miserable pile of
dreck he's in, and seems to be the only one having any fun. It's a
performance that's so completely beneath him and he's definitely
phoning it in, but his character is so deliciously wicked that it's
hard not to love him and every scene he's in completely energises the
movie. I can't exactly explain what happened but at some point in the
third act the character became some kind of super villain that you
would only see in the craziest James Bond movies.
Save for Affleck (and a weird cameo by Deadmau5), it's just an
incredibly generic and forgettable affair that isn't even worth
watching at home, this is the kind of movie that's best left forgotten.