Release Date 3/28/08
I have been looking forward to this movie since I heard it was being made. I’d read the book it was based on a few years ago, and it was written to be made into a movie. It had drama, tension, sex, money, and gambling.
The Story: Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) needs money to get pay for medical school. His upper level math instructor (Kevin Spacey) sees Ben’s intelligence and quick thinking and recruits him for his card-counting blackjack squad. Every weekend, they go to Vegas to rake in the dough.
In adaptation, they lost the tension. My guess is that the loss falls into the hands of the director. You never get the feeling that something could go wrong, despite the opening sequence of another card counter getting beaten up. Certainly Laurence Fishburne is intimidating and the epitome of cool, but he’s been de-clawed by making him worry about his job security. But now I’m doing what I hate about movie reviews, complaining about what isn’t there when I should be focusing on what IS there.
Jim Sturgess is incredibly charming, and really the only fully fleshed out character – so he’s really the only one you care about. Luckily he’s in 99% of the movie. Kate Bosworth is the girl he’s been lusting after for 4 years, who is also on the squad. You never understand why she’s interested in him after ignoring him all this time. It just sort of happens. Again, she wasn’t given the chance. And she looks good.
Everything in the movie looks good, it just doesn’t have any substance. And it’s not terribly original. You won’t see any interesting directing, or any showy acting, or really anything special.
What it’s Worth: $6.00. It’s entertaining, and it’ll keep you occupied for a couple of hours, but you won’t leave needing watch it again.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008