Thursday, August 28, 2008

21 (2008) - 4 Stars

I must say I liked this movie a lot. Kevin Spacey is one of my favorites and he is great in this movie and even involved in it's production. Actually most of the characters were believable after you get to know them. The movie is based on the true story of a group of smarties who took Vegas for millions of dollars. I've always been fascinated about people counting cards and the methods they use and this scheme seemed pretty high tech yet simple. What I didn't understand is why keep hitting the same casino? Why not travel to each and every casino and take them all for a chunk of change instead of causing suspicion at the same one?

Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) is an extremely bright student trying to get excepted in the college of his dreams. He also has his eyes focused on one lovely girl but too shy to do anything about it. His best friends and room mates are involved in a project of building the best robot. And that works fine for Ben until one day he is approached by his math teacher Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey), and fellow students, to join in on a plan to make more money than he could ever dream of. Ben just desperately needs 300 thousand to get into medical school to become a doctor. Though reluctant about doing anything illegal, he notices the girl he's had his eye on, Jill Taylor (Kate Bosworth), a member of the team, seduces him into taking a chance.

The gang meets to decide their plan of action and stage a trial run to make sure that Ben is up to the job. Once he passes, they lot set off for Vegas staying in the finest room and living the life of luxury. The team takes the tables for thousands and then returns back to their homes during the weeks to reengage with school and work. But there's lots of money to be made and jealousy and conflicts break out amongst the team when Ben gets sloppy and bets big loosing a lot in one big hand, eventually getting him busted by Cole Williams (Laurence Fishburne), of casino security. Cole knows what counting cards looks like as he has tackled with Mickey Rosa years before, and still has a grudge about nailing him.

Sony Pictures
Director: Robert Luketic
Writers: Allan Loeb, Peter Steinfeld
Producers: Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca
I viewed 8/08


Anonymous said...

trying to get "excepted" in the college


Anonymous said...

thereviewer here did not read the book as well. The movie is very veryloosely based on the real story but it was "Hollywooded" up when it didnot need to be and they left out some very important points to thestory. Like author of this post asks, "why did they keep hitting thesame casino?" Well in real life they hit all the casinos and even hitthe ones outside of vegas like the steamboats in Mississippi amongothers. Also while I like Kevin Spacey alot as well, his characterreally has no roll in the book (or true story). And finally the moviedumbed down the card counting to almost basic strategy. In real lifethe process that they used would be too sophisticated for a movie butremember they were top MIT students so numbers came way too easy to them..