there’s no question that Steven Soderbergh is the
director of cool. The cast of the original Ocean’s
Eleven can be thought of as the coolest cast of
all-time, if you don’t count the cast of the remake
of Ocean’s Eleven, which is also just about there.
Twelve is easily the coolest movie in ages, no question,
and it’s mostly without substance. But who cares?
Honestly, there was not a moment where I was thinking that
I wanted the movie to be about something. In fact, when
they tried to bring any emotion other than slick sarcasm
or revenge or greed into play, I sorta had to step out.
The film opens with Terry Benedict, whose
money apparently allowed him to step back in time and grab
a few suits from Ringo Starr’s 1974 collection, visiting
each of the members of Danny Ocean’s little gang.
He tells them they have two weeks to get him his money,
and they all gather to see about pulling a few jobs to get
a little more than 97 million together. In this first section,
my man Elliot Gould is great. He is seriously underused
nowadays. They hightail it to Amsterdam, where Rusty (the
dreamy Brad Pitt) has an ex, Cathering Zeta-Jones’
Isabel, who also happens to be the daughter of a thief and
the top EuroPol high crime expert.
They end up working some magic and catching
the attention of Isabel. They also get trumped by another
of the great thieves, The Nightfox. Easily my favorite new
character in the film, Vincent Cassel makes the character
ultra-slick and cocky, while at the same time keeping up
in the supercool department with Clooney and Julia Roberts.
He’s fantastic here, as he usually is, and manages
to steal a scene or two from the camera work, which in this
film is no small task.
rest of the film is an attempt to steal a Faberge Egg from
a futuristically guarded museum in Rome. Well, the guys
go about their tricks and snipes and come up with a plan
that has to be scrapped. Everyone is dead on in their interactions.
After a particularly bad play, abunch of them get tossed
in the pokey leaving only three to do the job without any
of the usual leadership. Required to call in Danny’s
wife Tess, they go through with a plan to grab the egg.
Of course, there are double, triple and quite possibly quadruple-crosses
going on, but they are all perfectly acceptable; I was having
far too much fun to question what the hell was going on.
I can’t say there weren’t down
points. While Isabel is pursuing Ocean and his friends,
she’s solid. When they are dealing with her relationship
to Rusty or anything else, it’s as flat as she is
curvy. The tacked on portion with her dealing with her father
could have been easily excised in favor of more guys doing
cool stuff. Bernie Mac is hardly in the film, and he was
an easy comedic highlight of their first adventure. It’s
not hard to see why, I mean there are a lot of guys who
need screen time, but they could have thrown him a little
The highlights are the same as they were
the first time Pitt, Clooney, Damon, and folks got together.
Watching it unfold, seeing the hilarious interactions and
the heisty fun of it all. Pitt and Clooney have a great
scene where the two of them are looking straight ahead and
one of them is talking. Damon plays the fool, but comes
up big. Don Cheadle makes the most out of the few moments
he’s given. This is a movie that has had tracks laid
for it, and you know exactly where you’re headed,
and you don’t care. It’s still a great ride.
time around, they also added a ton of great cameos from
actors that I would love to see do their own version of
the film. Minor scenes featuring Robbie Coltrane, Eddie
Izzard, and Bruce Willis are all fantastic. Topher Grace
appears again as himself having gone ‘all Frankie
Muniz’ on his hotel room. Albert Finney shows up,
which might explain an odd reference to Miller’s
Crossing. Even the guy who beat up Danny in the Belaggio
from the first film makes an appearance. It’s all
just an excuse for Soderbergh and company to work with their
friends, and it shows in the sense of fun the whole movie
no reason to not see Ocean’s Twelve. It’s
got fantastic scenery, great camerawork and an average script
that you just don’t care about when everything else
rolls around it. See it! See it now!