What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
What's the story?
Is it any good?
Director Brad Furman's previous movie, The Lincoln Lawyer, took what could have been a generic Hollywood thriller and turned it into something good, a movie that didn't pander or dumb itself down and focused on interesting characters. Unfortunately, RUNNER RUNNER is an actual generic Hollywood thriller that has dumbed itself down and forgets about characters.
The screenplay invents situations and then forgets about them, such as making Ivan mysterious and elusive at first and then making him totally available later, when the plot requires it. And Richie and Rebecca's relationship is dangerous at first, but the movie proceeds to diffuse it, turning it into nothing. Coincidences -- such as a very convenient gambling expo taking place -- substitute for twists, and dumb action scenes are sloppily inserted. None of these actors can make anything out of what they're given, not even the reliable Anthony Mackie as the FBI guy. Somebody took a gamble on this thin material and lost.
Families can talk about...
- Families can talk about what it means to "make a deal with the devil." Would you be able to resist such a deal? Why are tales with this kind of plot known as "Faustian stories"?
- Does the world of gambling seem like a violent one? How does Runner Runner present the violence and danger? Is it scary or thrilling?
- How does the movie portray drinking? Do the characters drink too much? What would some realistic consequences of their behavior be?
What messages does the movie have regarding online privacy? How can you keep your personal information safe online?