What a clunker!
I’ve wanted to read the book for awhile, and probably still will, since I’m sure there are some pretty ridiculous Hollywood twists included in the completely formulaic plot. Good kid with single mom and nerdy best friends with a longtime crush on a super hottie who just happens to be a genius at MIT impresses a professor who recruits him to join a semi-legal card counting ring that has him flying high in no time, forgetting all about who he is and what he really believes in. There are ups and downs, but, wouldn’t you know it – at the end he re-discovers what he really wants. And that’s go to Harvard Medical School. Bored now.
And why do I get the feeling that Kevin Spacey phoned in for this role? It felt like a reheated version of a character he’s played a million times before, and I don’t know if it was the script’s fault or his. But as long as we’re talking about the script…come ON: It was forced and clichéd and without much in the way of redeemable value.
On the plus side, I like Jim Sturgess and he wasn’t half bad. He has the same kind of appeal as Cappy on ‘Greek’ (the most underrated designed-for-pre-teens show on TV!) , a kind of dreamy hapless goofball.
By factoring in the bonus points for being filmed in Boston and my alma mater, BU, serving as the set for all the classroom scenes, "21" gets…5.5/10 Twix bars!