Ocean’s Twelve (2004)

oceans12_2004_poster
  • Time: 125 min
  • Genre: Crime | Thriller
  • Director: Steven Soderbergh
  • Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Don Cheadle, Julia Roberts, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Vincent Cassel

Storyline:

They pulled off one of the biggest heists ever and now they have another job to complete. Ocean’s Eleven, which consisted off Danny Ocean (Clooney), Rusty Ryan (Pitt) and Linus Caldwell (Damon) and others, all thought they would be able to enjoy their money, but someone has other plans. Terry Benedict (Garcia) is still fuming after losing his money and wants it back. The team now have the job of getting all the money they spent back, or risk being thrown in jail. How are they going to get it all back? By pulling off another amazing plan.

One review

  • ‘If you steal fifty million dollars, they will find you.’ (Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber, Die Hard) This adage certainly rings true in this sequel. Terry Benedict has been informed that Danny Ocean and his compadres were the ones who ripped him off and now he wants his money back. Therefore, the Ocean gang needs a lot of money and fast, but cannot work in the states as Benedict has made it impossible for them. So it’s off to Europe to perform acts of death defying thievery, whilst trying to avoid Catherine Zeta Jones’ super cop, an old flame from Rusty’s (Pitt’s) past.

    On their first heist in Amsterdam they find out that who ratted on them was the ‘Night Fox’, a super slick thief with a legend complex. He issues them with a challenge that could write off their debt in full or land them in some kind of Uma Thurman Kill Bill II buried alive sequence. Interesting? Well, yes. Slow? Sort of. Entertaining? Mostly. Unnecessary scenes of character development? Plenty.

    Soderbergh, who did not direct the first film, has given his actors licence to ‘evolve’ their parts, which for this franchise is probably not the best idea. What worked so well in the last film was the lack of character development, complemented by the slickness of the mission impossible style heist. Ocean’s Eleven looked like the cover of Vogue magazine or an advert for Gucci and the characters’ lack of depth helped polish the film to a high and glossy shine. Ocean’s Twelve wants to move past this through idiosyncrasies and little character ticks and deepen the glossy and superficial cover picture. This may have worked because the chemistry within the Ocean gang is comfortable and entertaining. Unfortunately, it does not as Catherine Zeta Jones’ super cop upsets this delicate balance. She fits into this film like a big square peg in a tight Ocean’s 11 sided hole and her chemistry with Pitt is non-existent.

    The star of this film for me is Vincent Cassel. His Night Fox is arrogant, cavalier and makes being rich look like tremendous fun. He is the yang to the Americans’ ying; he is immoral where they are moral (?!); his Night Fox is the darker side to professional thievery whereas the Americans are the acceptable face of stealing over a hundred million in someone else’s cash simply because they make it look so cool. Cassel also plays the part with a natural swagger and depth that contrasts heavily with the newly found ‘depth’ of the American actors. Normally contrast is a good thing as it makes things complicated and layered, but from this franchise we want superficial, gloss and polish. So, for me, this is where the film does not work.

    All of this together and we end with simply this: the age old adage ‘integrity comes from being true to yourself’ is something that this franchise should have thought more carefully about.

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