ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Movie Review: 21

Updated on July 24, 2008

Don't feel like making a new movie? Copy some old ones...


I finally caught a couple of films now on DVD or pay-per-view that I've been meaning to see and I noticed a running theme: non-originality. As my good friend Derrick Goulet likes to say, "Let's not REMAKE movies people, lets MAKE movies."

Oh, how he hits the nail on the head.

Flying back from Michigan recently on a four and a half hour flight, I passed the time watching the film "21." As I work in the casino business, of course I've seen plenty of films regarding the subject of casinos and gambling, and I intimately know the subject matter.

Before I go any further, I'd like to point out that I love Kevin Spacey. "Swimming with Sharks," the 1994 masterpiece also starring Benicio Del Toro and Frank Whaley is one of my all time favorites, and my introduction to Spacey's inimitable style of acting.

This film, however, seemed like little more than a paycheck for him, as he was able to mimick any of a dozen other performances he's done in similar films as a former card cheat turned MIT professor who wrangles a group of mathematically inclined students to act as his own personal card counting crew, subsequently earning him and them hundreds of thousands of dollars on the Las Vegas strip.

All the film cliches are here. There's the poor kid who can't afford to go to the expensive college (think "Goodwill Hunting"), the smart kid who becomes the prodigy of the professor who uses him for his own ill gains (think "Real Genius"), the unobtainable hottest chick in school who somehow ends up romantically entangled with the geek (think several other movies, most notably "Can't Buy Me Love").

At least a half dozen film titles are gleaned of their most notable plot points in "21." The Matt Damon/Edward Norton film "Rounders" is robbed as well, with the hero of the film making money, forsaking his geeky friends, seeing that there is more to life than a minimum wage job and taking the safe route, betrayal, redemption, and revenge. Sounds great, but like I said, we've seen it all before, and done much better.

I know this film did relatively well at the box office and critics were warm to it, but I have to give it a single star, frowny face, and thumbs neutral (sorry Roger, I know you own the copyright to that - I hope you'll forgive me.)


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)