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Posted on 2/23/09 07:35 PM
21 could have been a fascinating movie on a fascinating subject. Instead, it turned into something not so fascinating and in the end was just a mess of rich Las Vegas junk.
My first impression of 21 was one of mild interest. The subject was fascinating, I think, personally, and the movie featured a talented cast. So, what's not to like for first impressions? I soon realized that beauty is only skin deep. The movie is about Ben Campbell(Jim Sturgess), a smart student who plans on attending Harvard, but is financially in crisis of not being able to go. He could get the Robinson's Scholarship, which will pay for the whole ride--$300,000. But instead of working for it, Mickey(Jim Spacey), invites Ben to join a "secret" orginization of elite card counters. Now, if the plot seems ludicrous, wait till you get deeper. I have to say that I liked the first 20 minutes the most out of the entire movie. The part before Ben gets involved in the whole cynical card counting thing.
One thing: The movie is confusing. Mickey keeps talking about card counting is legal, but everytime the group goes to do it, they need fake IDs, fake names, and disguises. And it's never really clear, why everyone is so intent on busting people for counting cards in the first place. Heck, we even see some guy punching another guy for counting cards! If it wasn't so comical, it'd be downright sad at the shape society has come to. In fact, this group is so elite, they've got numbers, codenames, and hand signals to disguise their illegal--oops, "legal"--card counting ways.
The one thing that annoys me the most out of the entire movie is how snobby and rude everyone seems, including Ben. Besides Ben, no one else has a real reason why they're making this money. Jill(Kate Bosworth) is doing it because her father's dead? What? And Mickey's intentions are unclear, as well as the rest. Because they don't have clear reasons, it makes them seem like cynical, greedy bastards. And does Ben use the money to save for his college? Nope. He spends it on tuxedos and sunglasses. Very chic.
This movie definitely wasn't a bad movie--but it wasn't good, either. It was sort of just eh, in there. Barely. Another annoying thing was Ben's voice-over. We don't need him telling us every second what he's thinking in his head. Anyhow, the movie is okay. It's decent. 5/10.