Sunday, March 30, 2008

Movie review: 21

I went to see another movie based on a true story, but this time I knew it before seeing it, unlike The Bank Job. When I heard the synopsis for 21, I remembered hearing about a group from MIT going to Vegas to win big money by using math to get the odds on their side. And this is exactly that story, with a Hollywood spin to it, I'm sure.

In this case yet again, the IMDB rating is not too hot, but the Cinema Montreal one is. And I agree with my fellow Montreal citizens. I really liked this movie. I'm not sure how much of it was fiction ans how much is from the real events, but it does have a good story overall. A group of students, lead by a teacher with a similar past, get together and through precise planning, go to Las Vegas to play Blackjack and win a lot of money by secretly playing as a group, each with their own tasks, to avoid detection. As they say in the movie, counting cards is not illegal, but it is very much frowned upon by the casino's owners and security staff. In this case, it even gets violent.

The story deals with greed, friendship, trust, love, betrayal, money (really!), gambling, smart people, good looking people, intimidation and a few other things. Most of the actors are young and unknown to me, except for Josh Gad, who has a role on the TV show Back To You. On the other hand, I did know Kevin Spacey (the teacher) and Laurence Fishburne (in charge of security at the casino).

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