Runner Runner

Composed By: Christophe Beck

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the crime thriller Runner Runner, Justin Timberlake stars as Richie Furst, a Princeton student who funds his tuition by referring other students to online gambling sites until a dean threatens to expel him.  Richie decides to win his money through online poker, but is swindled and heads to Costa Rica to confront online gambling guru Ivan Block (Ben Affleck).  Seduced by promised wealth and Ivan's smooth, confident style, Richie gets in deep, never realizing just how ruthless his benefactor can be until it is too late.

                The musical score of Runner Runner was created by Canadian composer Christophe Beck, a man whose musical career began at a very young age.  Playing the piano when he was five years old, Beck went on to study music at Yale before attending the USC film scoring program.  Beginning in television, Beck is well known for the score he created for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Since then, Beck has worked in both television and movies, creating musical scores for television series like Angel and The Practice and movies such as We Are Marshall, The Hangover, Waiting for Superman, Under the Tuscan Sun, Pitch Perfect, Frozen, Endless Love (2014) and more.

                In creating the musical score for Runner Runner, Christophe Beck mixed orchestral music with modern.  He incorporates cyclical ambient and electronic sound with orchestral music, electric guitars, synths and a variety of different percussion instruments to give the score a unique flavor.  According to Beck, "Runner Runner offered me the opportunity to blend several musical environments.  There is a heavy focus on electronics to represent the cutting-edge world of online poker, but once that primary bed was established, I needed something organic to clash with the synthetic." 

                Orchestral strings were used to highlight relationships while electric guitars, synths and percussion illuminated the high stakes sequences.  Calypso drums and other ethnic sounds are used to describe the environment of Costa Rica. 

                Featuring a blend of orchestral and electronic music with an ethnic flare, the music of Runner Runner was fun to listen to.  Having never seen the film, I can honestly say that one can definitely enjoy the Runner Runner Soundtrack as a stand alone album and I am certain that it perfectly complements the visuals of the movie.  The album offers up a unique and upbeat listening experience. 


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