Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Film Review: 21 (2008)

Director: Robert Luketic
Running time: 123 mins (approx)

Watched on Sky+ Wednesday 17th June 2009.

For those who like a gamble, they will know that 21 is the highest score in the card game Blackjack. And this film is all about Blackjack and how an MIT professor Prof. Micky Rosa, played by Kevin Spacey gets a group of students to gamble in Las Vegas, count cards and win large amounts of cash. It is based on a true story and, not having read the book, I cannot say how true it is to real events.

We begin with Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) at an interview for a scholarship to Harvard Medical School. The interviewer asks, “What makes you jump off the page Ben?” (or words to that effect). At this we go back to MIT where Ben is a young but brilliant student scrimping and saving every penny in the hope that he can save enough to get him into Harvard Medical School. Long story short, he is recruited onto the team by Prof. Rosa, which consists of; Jill Taylor (Kate Bosworth), Choi (Aaron Yoo), Kianna (Liza Lapira) and Jimmy Fisher (Jacob Pitts). They all fly off to Vegas and win a lot of money at weekends and back to college during the week. Eventually they attract the attention of an old-school security man, Cole Williams (Laurence Fishburne). Crosses and double-crosses ensue, which I won’t go into here (don’t want to spoil it for you) and we end on a high.

Over all, quite enjoyable, although I did find it a little long at 123 minutes. Excellent performances by Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne, as you would expect and I thought that Jim Sturgess did very well in his leading role. Honourable mentions to the team, Kate Bosworth, Aaron Yoo, Liza Lapira and Jacob Pitts who all performed admirably. I did enjoy at the very end where the Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always get What You Want” can be heard as the credits roll.

My score: 6.5/10

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