21

Ben is an MIT student who wants nothing more in life than to go to Harvard Med School. The only thing that stands in his way is money. Luckily for Ben, he meets Kevin Spacey who by night is king of the underground card counters while by day his friendly professor. As the leader, Spacey takes his team of six brilliant students into Vegas making oodles of flow.

 

Robert Luketic, director of Legally Blonde, has taken an interesting story and crafted a rather unbelievable movie.

 

There are really only two elements of the film that I like. Number one would be the card counting scenes. I loved how Luketic puts us inside the mind of the genius as he counts, watches, and breaks the system. This is the only saving grace and luckily the concept of the film.

 

The second and last good thing about 21 is Laurence Fishburne who without hesitation carries the most interesting character within the two hours. Highly under rated and desperately under used, Fishburne delivers the sharp edge and brick wall that the kids must climb.

 

The story felt forced and predictable while the actors transition through their emotions like a train wreck. Jim Sturgess, who promised potential in Across the Universe, delivers a performance any other young actor stumbling up the Hollywood ladder.

 

Kate Bosworth was ok but her romance with Sturgess was awkward and unbelievable. There's a ridiculous scene on a train ride home where Ben moves in for the kiss and is of course denied. The direction, interaction, and flow of this scene encompasses the dumbness of the movie. Decisions and roads the characters take are stupid and eye rolling.

 

I expected a lot more from the story and the actors on this one. I think the back story of Spacey and Fishburne is far more interesting than the story about a bunch of 21 year old kids learning the harsh realities of lying, back stabbing, and of course risk.

Reviewed by: shea
3 Comment(s)
Andy said...
Hmmm from seeing the trailer, this didn't look like it was going to be good. Wow...wow...1.5 stars. I'm glad I skipped it. Thanks for taking the bullet for all of us.
Josh said...
I remember watching a documentary special on the History Channel back in 2005 called Breaking Vegas about the MIT club that used card counting to make a ton of money. It's a great documentary that's worth watching if you can find it.

Then this past fall I went to see something in the theatre and saw the trailer for 21 and was like "wow, they totally messed up that story!". From watching the trailer I can pretty much piece together what happens with about a 75% chance of accuracy.
* (asterisk) (http://suchastheyare.blogspot.com) said...
I read the book, which was good fun, so I don't think I'll bother with this. Thanks anyway.