Kevin Spacey joins a cast of youngsters for this based on a true story yarn in which M.I.T student Jim Sturgess (Ben Campbell) needs 300k to pay his way through Harvard Medical school, a sum his weekend job in a menswear store isn’t going to provide.
Luckily for Jim not only is he a genius (why else would he be at M.I.T?) but a team of other bright sparks – financed and mentored by Spacey – invite him to join them for some easy money making in Vegas where they put their brains to predicting the outcome of card games.
Along the way our hero – until now a fully signed up member of the geek squad – beds the fit and handily available female member of the team, gets caught and beaten up by casino security, gets rich, falls out with his geeky friends, lies to his mum and learns some important lessons about being a flash sod who doesn’t listen to sensible advice.
Trailers for the film make it look sleek and fast paced but I thought it dragged a bit in the middle before rallying with a fun if slightly predictable ending.
It’s nicely shot and looks swish but feels like the curious spawn of Good Will Hunting and BBC One’s Hustle which, it has to be said, pulls off the rollbacks and flashbacks to better effect on a much smaller telly budget.
An enjoyable romp with an attractive and enthusiastic cast, worth a visit to the multiplex for.
In Cinemas from April 11th 2008