Columbia Pictures’ action/adventure 21 is inspired by the true story of the very brightest young minds in the country – and how they took Vegas for millions. Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) is a shy, brilliant M.I.T. student who – needing to pay school tuition – finds the answers in the cards. He is recruited to join a group of the school’s most gifted students that heads to Vegas every weekend armed with fake identities and the know-how to turn the odds at blackjack in their favor. With unorthodox math professor and stats genius Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey) leading the way, they’ve cracked the code. By counting cards and employing an intricate system of signals, the team can beat the casinos big time. Seduced by the money, the Vegas lifestyle, and by his smart and sexy teammate, Jill Taylor (Kate Bosworth), Ben begins to push the limits. Though counting cards isn’t illegal, the stakes are high, and the challenge becomes not only keeping the numbers straight, but staying one step ahead of the casinos’ menacing enforcer: Cole Williams (Laurence Fishburne).
“21” kills what is actually a really interesting true story. The cast of characters are split down the middle. Jim Sturgess offers up a good performance, along with his co-stars Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne. It’s impossible to believe Kate Bosworth as an MIT student. It would have been easier to believe she worked at MIT as a secretary–even that would be debatable.
“21” is a movie that should have moved along quickly and been smart and suspenseful. Instead “21” is slow and plotting. Anyone who has read about the true story knows just how interesting it is–the true story really seems to good, and interesting, to be true. It’s amazing that the movie ends up being too boring to be based on the true events. Anyone who hasn’t heard the story will watch this and wonder “why did anyone make this into a movie?”