Sunday, February 20, 2005

Movie Review (Ocean's Twelve)...

Oceans Twelve

In 2001, director Steven Soderbergh (Sex, lies and videotape, Traffic, Solaris ) remade the 60’s rat pack movie Oceans eleven. He delivered pure entertainment in the form of a starry Hollywood heist movie, a smartly written and satisfying addition to his resume. A sequel was inevitable after the success of eleven, and rather impressively, Soderbergh has managed to persuade the entire cast to reprise their roles. When we last saw these characters, they had just pulled off an incredible robbery of three of Las Vegas’ largest casinos in one night. The casinos belonged to Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), who also happened be seeing Danny Oceans (George Clooney) ex-wife, Tess (Julia Roberts).

As we get re-acquainted with these characters, we learn that the eleven are now enjoying their fortunes in various parts of the U.S. Benedict, however, has discovered their whereabouts and has set about regrouping his stolen fortune, with added interest of course. Forced to come up with the money they owe Benedict within two weeks, Oceans Eleven decide to relocate to Europe and get back to work as they are “too hot” to steal at home.

The first hour of Oceans Twelve is promising. We feel at home with these characters almost immediately and their onscreen chemistry is palpable. Some witty small talk works well, such as Clooney’s question, “What age do I look?”, but is ultimately pointless and serves no purpose in furthering the story. There are also a plethora of in-jokes which presume you have a good, in-depth knowledge of the first film. Certainly entertaining in small doses, for those who have seen and enjoyed Oceans Eleven more than once, but Soderbergh pushes it too far.

There is a moment in Oceans Twelve where everything starts to fall apart. All the promise shown and confidence in the story crumbles at this point. Trying not to give too much away, a certain character is used as a decoy in assistance to the team. The manner in which this character is used is a post modern, pretentious cop out, which is so ridiculous that it actually draws you out of the film, in sheer disbelief. We begin to realise that the writer obviously had no idea in which direction he was heading, and from this point on just made it up as he went. Oceans Thirteen? No thanks!

2 out of 5