“21” Brings Vegas Glamour Back to the Silver Screen

0 Submitted by on Mon, 21 July 2008, 08:00

By Sandra Kraisirideja

Not since “Ocean’s 11” has Las Vegas looked as sexy and fun as it does in “21.”

Based on the non-fiction novel “Bringing Down the House” by Ben Mezrich the movie stars relative newcomer Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey and Kate Bosworth.

“Bringing Down the House” told the real-life story of six Massachusetts Institute of Technology students who used a system of counting cards to win millions at blackjack in Las Vegas.

It was a story too irresistible for Hollywood to resist and director Robert Luketic pulls it off for the most part. There are a couple of times when the cinematography and special effects try to grab too much attention from the story, but it never goes overboard.

Spacey doesn’t break any new ground with his portrayal of an M.I.T professor who masterminds the counting card scheme, but it’s the kind of role that he does incredibly well.

Sturgess holds his own against Spacey and does his part to make his character as likeable as possible. This is the only way a movie like “21” works; the audience has got to be able to root for the main character or else it wouldn’t be as entertaining.

Bosworth, unfortunately, is miscast as Sturgess’ love interest. She’s a talented actress, but she needs to find the right role for her ability. In “21” she seems too mature and out of place. If she was cast as an employee at one of the Las Vegas casinos who gets to know the MIT students that may have worked better.

“21,” available July 22 on DVD, is predictable and not very deep, but it’s fun to watch and entertaining just the same. 

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