I remember watching the trailer of this movie, thinking that it looked so promising. The movie had a great cast with big names like Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck, and Anthony Mackie, yet the movie failed to deliver. With an upbeat trailer that gives the impression of being on the edge of your seat, the truth could not be further away. It seems like everyone is in a consensus about the movie; rotten tomato indicates that the movie only has a measly 9%.
Just to provide you with a run-down of the movie and save you 90 minutes, Justin Timberlake’s character, Richie, a bright Princeton grad student, gets duped on an online casino by the millionaire Tycoon Ivan Block played by Ben Affleck. To get his money back, Richie takes an unexpected trip to Costa Rica to confront the casino tycoon.
Instead of getting his money back, Richie gets lured into Ivans sketchy degenerate world characterized by greed and illegal activities. It does not take long until Richie has the feds on his tail, pressuring him to take Ivan down. Richie finds himself in a compromising situation, where he has to make the cliché” ultimate gamble of his life” to come out on top unscathed.
I am not going to lie; the movie’s premise is great because it provides the opportunity to explore the casino world outside the physical brick-and-mortar building. However, the movie fumbles the ball and comes out with a not-so-great product.
Besides the main idea, the script does not feel very carefully written with an uneven pace, making it hard to relate to the characters, and it never really engages you on any level. When watching movies, you are supposed to be swooped up in emotion and rot for the hero. In this movie, you hardly care what happens.
It does not help the script that the acting and chemistry between Timberlake and Affleck are abysmal and virtually non-existent. Both actors looked none interested in being on set, which is such a shame because both actors have the caliber of being A-list Hollywood actors. So before you waste your time, stay away from this movie.