21 – Review (Film)


21 tells the story of Ben (Jim Sturgess), a gifted but poor student who desperately wants to attend medical school. The extreme tuition fees mean he is left needing to get a ‘wildcard’ entry into the University.

Or of course raise the ridiculous amount needed ($300,000) to pay for a scholarship. But how will he do that?

Enter Professor Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey) who, after being impressed with Ben’s quick calculations and intelligence, offers him a place on his card counting team.

Card counting is essentially a way of cheating the system at the card game Blackjack and is obviously illegal.

Ben obviously succumbs and so a twisty tale of love, betrayal and cold hard cash plays out.

Spacey is excellent as Rosa and Laurence Fishbourne also impresses as Cole Williams. Sturgess himself is believable, as is his romance with Jill (Kate Bosworth).

The film comes across as a mix between Ocean’s Eleven and something more serious – at several points in the film the darker side of things rears its head, which gives the film a much needed edge.

As Ben struggles to manage his new life and old life we’re told a familiar tale of a change in lifestyle that the main protagonist isn’t quite ready for.

Overall though I enjoyed the film and while not essential viewing it’s certainly worth a rent.

Rating: 6/10

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