Home Las Vegas Las Vegas 21 – The Film

Las Vegas 21 – The Film

Las Vegas 21 is an adaptation of the book “Bringing The House Down” by Ben Mezrich, which tells the true story of a team of card counters from the illustrious M.I.T Blackjack team. The cast of actors that took part in the making of the film released in 2008 reads like some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters - Kevin Spacey, Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, and Laurence Fishburne to name but a few.

Bringing Down the House

The main character in the book “Bringing Down The House” is Kevin Lewis, an MIT graduate in mechanical engineering in 1994. Lewis was recruited into the MIT Blackjack team in 1993 by Steve Fisher and Andre Martinez, the two best blackjack players on the team. The film version is not entirely faithful to the book, but tells a similar story where students are trained to become expert card counters and go on to win millions of dollars in the Las Vegas casinos.

21 filmed on location in Las Vegas

blackjack 21 Las Vegas 21 was filmed on location in Las Vegas, with several scenes shot in casinos such as Red Rock Casino. The filming took a considerable time, with several scenes including Blackjack hands which had to be filmed from multiple angles, and repeated multiple times.

Differences between the book and the film

The film is different from the book in several aspects - including the choice to situate the film in a different era, as well as having a mostly 'white' cast even though several members of the MIT Blackjack team were Asian Americans. This choice of casting did result in a polemic when the film came out, although the quality of acting and chemistry between the actors certainly makes this film worth the watch.

Hollywood Glamour

The film has a definite Hollywood touch, with glamour and style as well as cultural references from the time. The authors wanted to preserve the spirit of the book while placing the film in the modern era, making it necessary to make some changes to bring it up to date.

The cast of the film includes:

  • Kevin Spacey (Mickey Rosa)
  • Jim Sturgess (Ben Campbell)
  • Kate Bosworth (Jill Taylor)
  • Laurence Fishburne (Cole Williams)
  • Liza Lapira (Kianna)
  • Aaron Yoo (Choi)
  • Jacob Pitts (Jason Fisher)