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Overall Rating

Awesome: 6.82%
Worth A Look: 15.15%
Pretty Bad34.09%
Total Crap: 9.85%

12 reviews, 60 user ratings

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Ocean's Twelve
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by Scott Weinberg

"Arguably the world's most expensive vacation video."
3 stars

The original "Ocean's Eleven" (and by original I mean the Clooney/Pitt remake and not the Rat Pack forefather) managed to deliver a confident and very clever heist movie, and one that was populated by a resoundingly colorful ensemble cast. The sequel to the remake, un-cleverly entitled "Ocean's Twelve," has an amiable attitude, several amusing set pieces...and a resoundingly colorful ensemble cast. After a while, this movie starts to feel like footage from Hollywood's most expensive backyard barbecue.

I think it's great that all the big stars of Ocean's Eleven love one another and had such a wonderful time making the film. You may think I'm being smug and sarcastic, but I believe that George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and the rest of the Ocean Gang are very, very likable. Charming and cocky and quirky, etc., etc. Very much so.

But that sort of character stuff is best used as icing on a cake of, well, plot. And the cake that represents Ocean's Twelve's plot... Well, let's just say this cake is about 78% icing.

So popular was Ocean's Eleven that filmmaker Steven Soderbergh immediately earned a ticket to Sequelsville. Through some bizarre stroke of fate he was able to get his entire gang of actors back...and (as they're so often heard to exclaim) the superstars worked cheap! So with the director and expansive cast ready for Part 2, the need for an actual screenplay arose. So someone at WB dusted off an unproduced script by George Nolfi (Timeline), retrofitted the heist shenanigans to fit the "Ocean" formula, flew the star-studded cast around the world, utilized Soderbergh's flair for quick, stylish work, and all-new mega-smash for the holiday season.

But there's a big airy draft in the middle of Ocean's Twelve where the meat of the movie should be, and I'm annoyed to announce that not even the new inclusions of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Bruce Willis can remedy the shoddy construction of this movie's meandering narrative. One suspects it must be pretty damn hard to juggle over a dozen characters while retaining continuity with the first the same time you're trying to tell a stand-alone story. All things considered, the fact that Ocean's Twelve is merely confusing, instead of entirely indecipherable, is somehow rather impressive.

And for all its charming whimsy, affable actors and gorgeous locations, Ocean's Twelve makes about as much sense as a two-hour episode of Hart to Hart. Suffice to say that the baddie from Part 1 (Andy Garcia, clearly enjoying his reptilian character) has tracked down every one of the thieves - and this guy wants his money back. From there we're ferried over a two-hour river of mini-heists, sudden setbacks, confusing contrivances, mawkish McGuffins and arcane plot devices that could also be accurately described as "screenwriter cheats".

But yes, the actors are all here and they're all quite adorable. Clooney and Pitt strike a wiseguy chemistry that's practically extinct in today's Hollywood. Julia Roberts has a seriously funny bit towards the end, one that's so surprisingly witty that one is willing to overlook how flimsy and obvious the sequence actually is. Catherine Zeta is, well, she's seriously, amazingly beautiful - which means she fits in quite well in a movie like this. Matt Damon, Elliot Gould, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Carl Reiner -- they all get their brief moments in the spotlight, but Twelve has a much more scattershot and episodic feel than did Eleven, which is nearly always the case when dealing with quick-draw sequel-making. But, to Soderbergh's credit, Ocean's Twelve manages to stick together just enough. One never gets the impression that this is just a slapdash, cash-in type of sequel - although it comes pretty close now and again.

How much you enjoy this movie will depend directly on how much you like the actors involved. Some will see an ultra-posh "aren't-we-adorable?" love-in with some of Hollywood's hottest stars; others will go along for the ride because everyone onscreen is just so damn cool. Consider me somewhere right in the middle.

You can only watch other people's vacation videos for so long, after all.

And can someone please tell me why Bernie Mac, the hidden jewel of Part 1, spends the entire sequel locked in a prison cell? Alone! Take the banter out of Bernie and what's the point?

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 12/19/04 22:36:11
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User Comments

6/09/10 Serge I think it was just a filler between 11 and 13 3 stars
3/28/08 Renzo Sucks! 1 stars
6/06/07 gr117 Great soundtrack & location shots- too bad the "plot" sucked 2 stars
3/16/07 Donny M Julia Roberts Scene Stupid 3 stars
1/23/07 Matt Thirteen Oceans of unadulterated crap. Gave up after 30 mins. 1 stars
12/01/06 Candice I love this movie. 5 stars
9/13/06 Agent Sands You have to be a hardcore fan of heist movies to really enjoy it the way I do! What a ride! 5 stars
7/25/06 Sully tripe. Damon was great, everyone else was boring. ending was ridiculous! 1 stars
7/08/06 CTT The cast definitely has a better time than the audience 3 stars
5/07/06 Charlene Javier Not as bad as everyone says it is... 3 stars
2/16/06 Indrid Cold Much of the chemistry and laughs of the first one, plot somewhat weaker though. 4 stars
11/25/05 Jacques the Man Actually, this is the most entertaining film I've seen all year. 5 stars
8/28/05 Lisa Brady terribly unbelievable 2 stars
8/01/05 Beth Kerrick Was disappointed it wasn't as good as the original. Not bad, but not great. 3 stars
7/14/05 Matthew Rudawsky Julia Roberts as herself was clever, but I wouldn't bother seeing the rest a 2nd time 3 stars
6/29/05 chimera Uninspired disaster 1 stars
6/25/05 Mr Fluffy Script not as tight as Eleven but directorially it's still up there with it. 4 stars
6/23/05 Adonis Fuentes Dumb dance sequence through the lasers 3 stars
6/08/05 Agent Sands You have to be a devout fan of heist & con flicks to really enjoy it. What a ride! 5 stars
5/25/05 Casey Becher A typical, disappointing sequel 2 stars
5/22/05 Charlene Javier Great inside jokes! 3 stars
5/18/05 mysterio Very boring movie. 2 stars
5/13/05 edsandiego2 I find it very entertaining. 4 stars
5/12/05 Beardog8 Love Soderbergh, but this was a let down from all involved. 2 stars
4/29/05 Phil M. Aficionado 40 minutes in, I decided this was not worth watching. What exactly was the point? 2 stars
4/28/05 Uncle Salty Worthless, %90 soundtrack, %10 movie 1 stars
4/24/05 Dan Ok movie, original one was better and always will be. 3 stars
4/23/05 Quigley we would need shovels - no, tractors! - to heap the bullcrap higher. Brad, we've had enough 1 stars
4/23/05 Monster W. Kung Crappy and uninteresting, and the twist sucks like a hoover. 2 stars
4/14/05 Scott Lamont Very anoying and hard to follow, even harder to swallow. 3 stars
4/07/05 brody what a bootleg film 1 stars
3/26/05 Denise good 4 stars
2/12/05 Sylvia Belle I enjoyted this one very much 5 stars
2/12/05 Kelly Self-indulgent, Ego-driven BORE of a Movie. The "aren't we awesome" posturing fell flat. 2 stars
2/12/05 John Jankowski very very average.. 3 stars
2/02/05 Casey Becher A pathetic attempt at a sequel. Sometimes it's better to stop while you're ahead. 3 stars
1/16/05 Feliciano this is what a real boring movie is, a movie with actually nothing interesting. 1 stars
1/09/05 Agent Sands FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE HEIST MOVIES!!!!!!! SURPRISINGLY EQUIVALENT TO "ELEVEN"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
1/08/05 Elizabeth S Star cameo provides the movie's best moments; pretty charmless. 2 stars
1/05/05 redhand a terrable movie, pointless 1 stars
1/05/05 malcolm excellent, witty dialogue; but ending was a cheat 3 stars
1/03/05 Danno the Movie Manno Should have given Bruce Willis a bigger role 1 stars
12/28/04 efrain as one magazine put it: PEOPLE MAGAZINE COMES TO LIFE. 4 stars
12/28/04 Mike V What a boring, glitzy, empty, mess of a movie. 2 stars
12/20/04 Koitus Ugh! Cheesy details on "how the 12 did it." Identified criminals identities "too" easily. 2 stars
12/18/04 Lisa totally crappy 1 stars
12/17/04 Jack Ocean's 12 is a piece of crap. Soderbergh apparently wants to sully his reputation. 1 stars
12/17/04 Carl Utterback Amusing diversion if you liked the characters (and actors) from Ocean's 11. 4 stars
12/15/04 Elizabeth Bates Great Film!!!! 5 stars
12/15/04 Elizabeth Boring and uninspired, save for a few humorous bits. 2 stars
12/15/04 Mikester Vincent Cassel rocks ! 4 stars
12/13/04 KingNeutron I enjoyed it, espec. the "JR lookalike" subplot. ;-) 4 stars
12/12/04 rich a little too cute on itself and not enough PLOT 2 stars
12/12/04 Scott like The Village--you find out the "secret", but wish you hadn't 3 stars
12/12/04 ajay some funny moments, but overall... boring. 2 stars
12/12/04 Andrew If you don't like Ocean's 12 your too self conscience 5 stars
12/12/04 Kristina Williams celebrity whorefest 2 stars
12/11/04 Bob Kolk Not since Lost in Translation have I had a stronger urge to get up and leave a theater. 1 stars
12/11/04 John Very good movie 5 stars
12/08/04 Ray Big deal 3 stars
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  10-Dec-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 12-Apr-2005



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