It seems online gambling - mainly poker - has become the latest late-night addiction you can indulge in from the comfort of your own home. With only a credit card number required, even teenagers are logging on to gamble away money they don’t have and can’t afford to lose. Wow, what a lucrative world to set a movie in - combine that with a Costa Rican landscape and you've got yourself a winner... or maybe not.
Princeton masters student Richie Furst is seriously running low on funds - most notably the tuition he needs to graduate. After being busted by the Dean for pushing students to online gaming sites for a commission, Richie embarks on a last-ditch effort for an all night poker marathon that, needless to say, doesn't go his way. Discovering that he’s actually been cheated, he travels to Costa Rica to confront online gambling kingpin Ivan Block, who ends up making Richie an offer he can’t refuse. Enter the girl (Arterton), the FBI agent (Mackie), the money, the lies, the double cross, the beating, the crocodiles...
Director Brad Furman (‘The Lincoln Lawyer’) has squandered this would-be rich tapestry as well as the on-screen talent of Justin Timberlake, Gemma Arterton, Ben Affleck and Anthony Mackie to produce this dull, been-there-done-that flick. The twists are so predictable you can hardly call them twists. And with a severe lack of any characterisation, the film is relying solely on the disconnected story to plod the audience along - guess how well that goes?
Painfully unoriginal, you just can’t help but feel you seen this movie one too many times before - like say, in 2008 when it was called ’21’.