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21 thrills audiences with just a little luck

21+shows+how+with+a+little+luck%2C+even+the+most+prestigious+students+can+win+big+in+gambling
21 shows how with a little luck, even the most prestigious students can win big in gambling

21 shows how with a little luck, even the most prestigious students can win big in gambling

Image Courtesy of wikimedia

Image Courtesy of wikimedia

21 shows how with a little luck, even the most prestigious students can win big in gambling

Tiffany Steigerwald, Reporter

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“‘Winner, winner, chicken dinner.’ Those words have been dancing around my head all night,” said M.I.T. student, Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess).

M.I.T. student by day, blackjack pro by night. He couldn’t lose. Counting cards was an art, not a crime. After all, it’s not illegal. Although there are many that believe otherwise, Ben could outsmart anything and anyone if given the opportunity.

If you thought M.I.T. students were dweeby drowning in books, you thought wrong. Robert Luketic, director of 21, definitely knows how to bring his audience behind closed doors and enjoy it.

Based off a true story, 21 is a film that gives people an inside look into an underground BlackJack club at M.I.T., ran by Professor Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey), who started counting cards himself, in the 1980s.

A fresh 21 year old Bostonian, Ben Campbell, needs $300,000 for enrollment into the Harvard Medical program, but like many other college kids, he doesn’t have the money.

Luckily, Ben is an astonishing math whiz, and has spent his life building up a resume that surpasses optimal. Unfortunately, being perfect on paper isn’t “dazzling” enough to be granted the Robinson scholarship, which would provide him with a full ride into Harvard Med.

Ben currently works at a small men’s boutique with his two best friends: Miles (Josh Gad) and Cam (Sam Golzari), who also partner up with him to create a competition winning robot in hopes to help Ben raise enough money to go Harvard Med.

Although Ben is content with the life that he lives, a part of him dreams of living a life with more thrill. Being with the beautiful Jill Taylor (Kate Bosworth) for example… well, that would be a life experience all in itself.

Ben is approached by Fisher (Jacob Pitts), and brought to a meeting for M.I.T’s very own team for counting cards. Coach Micky, a slick, well-experienced Las Vegas goer, who also happens to be one of Ben’s professors, will stop at nothing to get him onto the team. Surely enough though, Ben is a goody two shoes, and resists from joining.

Before he knows it, Ben caves, and is now living the high life. This includes secret trips to Las Vegas every weekend, countless hours spent with Jill, and stacks of cash filling up the ceilings in his dorm room back home. His intelligence might just get him enough money for Harvard Med, so he sticks with it.

His “gifted mind” leads Ben to consume a growing $640,000. Originally, he only needed the $300,000. Greed was written all over his face, and his life back in Boston fell apart right in front of him.

21 is a rollercoaster of a plot, considering it’s not everyday that an M.I.T. student goes to count cards in Vegas for a pastime, but I think that’s the beauty in this film. The message can be whatever you make it.

Sure, there’s the overcoming of greed and corruption, but there’s also lessons on how friends can work together to outsmart the people in life that doubt you or feel as if they’re better than you.

There’s no select group of people who this movie is made for. It’s captivating storyline is entertaining, and the witty humor is placed perfectly throughout the film, thanks to the screenwriter, Allan Loeb.

Even my dad loved this movie. He found the movie to be inspiring, due to the fact that it emphasized, “knowing the difference between right, and wrong. It’s a constant challenge for each of them to know when to stop allowing greed to run their lives. The best part is the revenge. The modern day math wizard outsmarts the guy who thinks he will always be the most intelligent guy with all the answers. He gets humbled!”

However, my friend Igor Chekorsky, feels that the movie was too short. It’s one of his all time favorite movies, but feels that there could have been a lot more to expand on, and hopes that there’s an extended cut released one day.

21 perfectly captures how dweeby M.I.T. students trick the system, and its “pro” with their gifted minds, and how corruption can ultimately lead you to success one day. That is, if you can overcome it, and be able to yell “winner, winner, chicken dinner” when everything is over and done with.

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21 thrills audiences with just a little luck