Music By Christophe Beck
19 Tracks/Disc Time: 42:02
After successfully reinvigorating the world of underground poker with the brilliant "Rounders" starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton, writers Brian Koppleman and David Levien have returned to the genre that has made them staples in Hollywood. Their latest film is "Runner Runner" starring Justin Timberlake, Oscar Winner Ben Affleck, Gemma Arterton and Anthony Mackie and directed by Brad Furman, who directed the sensational adaptation of Michael Connelly's "The Lincoln Lawyer". The film revolves around Richie (Timberlake), a college student at Princeton who's facing crippling tuition bills ends up working as a recruiter for online gambling sites. Enticing his fellow students to sign up and drain their life savings and while trying to cover his own personal debts, he loses everything and soon discovering the site he joined is a fraud. Angrily he flies down to Costa Rica to meet with Ivan (Affleck), the multi-millionaire owner of the gambling site. Expecting a fight, Richie is then lured by Ivan into working for the company with the promise of a financial windfall if he can produce clients. Richie takes the bait and starts to enjoy the windfalls of luxury, growing to admire Ivan’s business expertise and soon falling in love with his girlfriend/advisor, Rebecca (Arterton). Swept up in the lifestyle, the tide turns for Richie when he’s threatened by FBI Agent Shavers (Anthony Mackie), who exposes Ivan as a fraud, counting on the frightened man to become an informant. Richie, overwhelmed and confused, begins to question his place in the organization, quickly discovering how dangerous Ivan truly is.
As with "The Lincoln Lawyer", director Brad Furman elected to use a rather distinct and electronic sound that Cliff Martinez successfully pulled for that film. With "Runner Runner", it is composer Christophe Beck's turn to emulate Martinez's cool percussive sounds to which he does to surprisingly effective and enjoyable moods. Beck's stock really began to rise over the last few years with a variety of scores that have been memorable and fun that include the likes of "R.I.P.D", "RED", and "Tower Heist" that have personally stayed with me long after watching them. "Runner Runner" really is in the mold of Martinez which is the right approach, but with Beck's own distinctive sound.
"Runner Runner" opens the album with a cool percussive, electronic pulsing beat that includes a nice influx of electric guitar solos that propels the track and establishes the score's main theme. The theme also appears in a hip energetic version in "Ivan Of Oz", with it's driving percussion and string work. Beck establishes a moody atmosphere of corruption and deception that really are the drive of this album with solid tracks that include "Scared Money", "Fisticuffs", "Leverage", "A Chip Off The Old Block" and "Like Father, Like Son". Beck all adds some spice and drive to the Costa Rican setting of the film in the tracks "Costa Rica" and "Escape From Costa Rica", while perfectly tying up the score proper in "Ace In The Hole", which is a cool reprise of the score's main themes and I wish there was a little more of this style on the album that this track perfectly exhibits.
Lakeshore Records' album is very solid and goes by without wearing you out too much. Beck's score is cool and easily one of his best works without a doubt. I was surprised how much I'd ended up liking it and it comes to show you that some scores just get you at the right moment and this one definitely did for me. Solid Thumbs up!!