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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 MP Bartley

"Twelve is just too crowded."
2 stars

No-one can deny that Soderbergh's 'Ocean's 11' update was one of the most sheerly enjoyable remakes there's probably ever been. For the audience it was the joy of seeing a tightly wound heist bound up with a witty script, topped off with a director working at the top of his game and polished by an impossibly glitzy and good looking cast. It was terrific entertainment, and by all accounts was a ball for the cast to make. So much so, that all eleven were more than happy to reunite for the sequel to keep the party going. Unfortunately that should never be a reason for making a film, and the end result is sadly more like the Sinatra original than the Soderbergh reimagining.

Danny (George Clooney), Rusty (Brad Pitt), Linus (Matt Damon) and the rest of the eleven are reunited when angry casino boss Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) manages to track them down. He wants his money back that they stole from him - but with interest - or they all die. Dannys plan is to hit Europe for riches, but this is complicated by an old flame of Rusty's, Isabelle (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who turns up with a vendetta against Rusty for running out on her. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, particularly when she works for Interpol. Furthermore, Danny is tricked into competing against the infamous Nightfox (Vincent Cassell), a thief who views Europe as his playground, and wants Danny out.

So you have three intertwining sub-plots, that shouldn't be a problem in the safe hands of Soderbergh and his famously tight control of multi-narrative stories. Unfortunately, Soderbergh seems to have taken a snooze and just let Clooney and company run riot in front of the cameras. It's a terribly unbalanced film, with no real focus or centre to the film. The Rusty and Isabelle aspect flies by with no real chemistry or interest from either actor, and most of the eleven are side-lined with no real impact on events whatosever, other than just hanging around behind Brad Pitt or George Clooney. Pity poor Bernie Mac, whose sole input to the plot is to be imprisoned. Whereas in the first film, all the eleven were a vital cog in the machine, here they're back to have a good time and nothing else. I honestly can't remember a single line of dialogue that Elliot Gould, Carl Reiner or Scott Caan had, to name just three.

Instead, a prevailing sense of smugness courses throughout the film, as if we should be entertained just by the mere presence of Pitt and Clooney showing up again. Every scene seems to come equipped with a smirk from everyone about how much fun they're having, whilst in-jokes amongst the cast are obviously bubbling beneath the surface. Unfortunately, none of this transmits to the audience, who are more likely to be getting frustrated waiting for the plot to kick in. There's no sense of danger from Benedict or conflict with the Nightfox, in fact, there's precious little drama here at all

Look, I'm glad Clooney, Pitt, Roberts and everyone else are great friends, I really am. I'm glad they can all hang out at George's Italian villa and swap stories. It's nice to have friends. But this joshing around with friends never translates to wit or excitement. It's like last month, I went to Berlin with a group of friends, but I certainly wouldn't video everything and try to sell it as a comedy. One of our funniest conversations was about bananas, but no-one else would find it funny. Why? Because no-one else would understand the context of the conversation, or the history of the people involved. It's a flaw that 'Ocean's Twelve' fails to avoid, and its absolute nadir comes with the 'Julia Roberts IS Julia Roberts!' sequence. It's a huge in-joke that falls painfully flat on its face, belonging in more of a meta-comedy like 'The Player' than a crowd-pleasing heist thriller.

Clooney flits in and out of the picture, trying to survive on mere presence alone, while Pitts storyline fails to catch alight, leaving Matt Damon to try and manfully rescue the film. And all credit to him, he does his best, becoming the best thing in the film. Constantly baffled and bemused by the on-going's around him, he fully displays his subtle comic timing and seems to be the only one who remembers that the audience should have someone to root for.

And the heists themselves? What heists? Whereas the last 40 minutes of the previous film was spent beautifully detailing the plan and building up the tension, the two heists here are thrown in as an afterthought. The first is over in a blink of an eye, with the use of a terrible deus ex machina; whilst the second is a complete cheat, hiding twists and deliberately pulling away beliefs in a manner that isn't clever, but insulting. It's an approach that smacks off "aw, will this do for the plot? We want to keep on having fun!". Considering just how high Soderbergh and everybody had built their stakes, it's a terrible shame they blew their hand.

Hopefully the upcoming 'Ocean's Thirteen' will be more than a home video of Brad Pitt flipping burgers in George Clooney's back yard, whilst George rubs suntan lotion into Julia Robert's shoulders.

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originally posted: 05/07/06 01:14:46
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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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