21: Using Math to Bring Down the House

All fast-paced action thrillers start will something at stake, otherwise, where’s the motivation to really do some crazy things. 

Well, that’s what the movie is about and we have the star’s future (education) at stake. The movie 21 was released to mixed reviews in 2008; however, it performed well at the box offices. It was also the number one film for the first and two weeks it was on in the U.S and Canada.

Based on the best-selling novel by Ben Mezrich, titled “Bringing down the House” which was inspired by the true events of the MIT blackjack team.

So those who had read the book prior to the movie being released can tell to a certain extent what the movie is all about. It’s about gambling, yeah, but not just gambling to gamble, but as the means to an end.

Whether you are into online gambling, playing bingo or going into physical casinos, you can learn something from these characters. Just like you can take advantage of the Caesars casino promo, approach this movie with an open mind and try to get as much as you can from it.

The movie was directed by Robert Luketic, written by Peter Steinfeld and Allan Loeb and produced by Brett Ratner, Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti, and Michael Deluca.

This movie is really fast-paced, contains loads of action, and is about some smart college students who form a blackjack team, trying to use their mathematics skills to win big, especially against the house.

It starts with our star Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) a maths genius needing money, some $300,000 to get into Harvard Med School.

The problem is that he can’t afford such a fee and would need a full scholarship from Harvard. The challenge, however, is that nothing distinguished him from the other applicants, they’re just as bright as he is and as hard-working.

So the MIT director in charge of the scholarships says that the scholarship would be given to the student who dazzles him. Hence, the whole gambling offers Ben Campbell an opportunity not just to win big and get a scholarship, but to also to dazzle the director.

Ben almost did not take the invitation to join the Black Jack team though, but the idea of being very close to an attractive lady Jill Taylor (Kate Bosworth) changed his mind. Ben was invited into the Black Jack team by his MIT professor, Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey). 

When he impressed him by solving a Monty Hall problem in a non-linear equation, this was the beginning of a whirlwind of events that led to some greed, violence, guns and in the end retribution for some and success for some others.

Ben Campbell joins the team, which is made up of other MIT students, including Fisher, Jill, Kianna and Choi. The team is split into two, the spotters and the big players.

They make lots of money in this process and live luxurious lives. Now that’s where greed and jealousy set in.

In an emotional whirlwind of events, Ben loses; $200,000, breaks up with Jill, gets robbed and kidnapped, with professor Micky being behind the theft.

He seeks revenge and a way to get money for tuition. In the end, the team play for one last time, Rosa is arrested by casino authorities and Ben gets to dazzle the scholarship director in Harvard with his story.

In the end, the movie is a very interesting watch; it replicates the evils of gambling and all the other bad things it can lead to. From the movie, we’d like to think that Black Jack is beatable.