3. The Cast 21
One of the most amazingly racist based on a true story cases ever committed to celluloid, 21 concerned itself with a troupe of blackjack-playing students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Taken from bestseller Bringing Down The House, theyre all predictably brilliant, and they use their smarts to develop a card-counting system which allows them to take on Vegas casinos and win handily. Its a cool premise for a film, never mind a real-life story, and the film is exquisitely shot, allowing us to join in the kinetic thrill of these youngsters and their lecturer ring-leader (played by an on-autopilot but nonetheless entertaining Kevin Spacey). The only major problem is that in the real story every one of them from lecturer all the way down to students were nearly all of Asian-American descent. However, the film eschews this, instead whitewashing the cast with the exception of two Asian-American sidekicks, who are seen as the joker and the loser respectively. 21s producer went on record saying that they would have loved to cast Asian-Americans in all the parts, but unfortunately there were just no bankable names out there, and thats a bit of a shame. Of course, this doesnt detract away from the actual cast who pull off their roles pretty darn well, actually but it leaves something of a cloud over proceedings, knowing we couldnt have the actual story because the filmmakers didnt believe it would sell with Asian-Americans taking all the major parts.