Movie Review: "21"

April 2, 2008 By:
Movie Review:

A cliche-filled disaster of a film! An adaptation, loosely based on a wonderful book entitled "Bringing Down The House" the film "21" fails to mesmerize, or even, compare to the literary work of its predecessor. Corny, lowbrow dialogue, unconvincing acting, and multiple Hollywood additions to the story, ruin the films chances from the start.

Director Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde, Win a Date with Ted Hamilton!) returns to the big screen with his latest film "21." The story follows Ben Campbell, (Jim Sturgess, Across the Universe) a numbers whiz kid from MIT who is doing all he can to make it into Harvard Med. His grades are perfect, his recommendations are written, and his head is on the right track, however, the main concern Ben is faced with is, how he is going to come up with the money for tuition. One day in class, Ben catches the eye of his professor Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey, Oscar winner for The Usual Suspects and American Beauty) who immediately recruits Ben into a group of equally talented students in which he mentors. As Ben shows up to the first meeting, he realizes this group of genius' are counting cards, and preparing themselves to change the odds in blackjack to their favor instead of the casinos. Hesitant at first, Ben decides not to join, however, the money factor and a love interest, Jill Taylor (Kate Bosworth, Superman Returns, Blue Crush) who is also in the group, sways Ben's decision. With their amazing ability to keep track of the numbers of the cards, the group makes their way out to Vegas to test this skill they possess. If this card-counting thing works out the way they had imagined it, these kids, along with their professor, can potentially win millions and millions of dollars from the casino. But, that is only if they can keep a low profile and stay under the surveillance of pit boss Cole Williams (Laurence Fishburne, Boyz n the Hood, Matrix, Mystic River).

Such a wonderful idea, such a wonderful story, and such a wonderful book, all combined to make a below average film... How does that make sense? Who is to blame for the disappointment of this movie? What went wrong? There are so many questions I can ask, because I am genuinely puzzled. I was psyched going into this movie. Maybe I just hyped it up too much for myself, and ultimately was discouraged. From now on, I believe any film that is going to take place in Sin City (Vegas) should -and must- have the MPAA rating of R. I am so sick and tired of this PG-13 rating to help sell movie tickets crap. Laurence Fishburne was not the same Fishburne I remember, however, Kevin Spacey has still got it.

Pat the Movie Critic gives "21" ---- 2 Scoops.