6/17/2008

Movie Review: 21

Geeks are often depicted in Hollywood movies as socially inept geniuses who write software, hack computer networks and just slack off. 21 is a movie about geeks who don't use technology but use pure brain power to take on the world. And that world is the glittery place called Las Vegas.

Starring Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe), Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns) and Kevin Spacey (American Beauty), 21 shows the life an MIT college student leads as he joins an elite group of campus math geniuses who is trained by their math professor how to count cards and beat the Las Vegas odds in the game of Black Jack. Of course, a lot of drama and casino happen in th e movie, but the heart of the movie centers on the transformation of a simple Harvard Medical School aspirant into a greedy, high-rolling, Black Jack gambler.

The story is truly fascinating, especially the process of card-counting and the how the students and the professor use this legal technique to game the Vegas system. However, the story was hard to follow in the beginning because a lot of jargon about card playing was introduced and the "system" the team follows is a bit complicated as well. This would be a frustrating for people who dislike math or numbers. Director Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde) had no choice but to go take a safer route in terms of creating a believable story because the concept was complex. One more thing: I think Jim Sturgess and Kate Bosworth are an odd choice for the lead couple, she too old looks for the role for me.

21 is definitely a movie math geeks will enjoy, and I have reason to believe non-geeks will enjoy as well. Just ignore the jargon and the math, you'll find the film a jackpot.


Rating: 3/5


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