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Ocean's Twelve /

Rated: PG-13

Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Produced by: Jerry Weintraub, Bruce Berman, John Hardy

Written by: George Nolfi

Distributor: Warner Bros.

 

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     The plotline of Oceanís Twelve is a deceiving one. Last night, after the screening I attended, I returned home, lied in my bed, and stared at the ceiling for an hour. I then considered every inch of the plot and its relationship to the overall outcome. Then, a light-bulb went off in my head. The formula for the movie is actually insanely simple. I had overestimated director Steven Soderbergh. In truth, every event in the movie falls into place quite nicely, forming a rather nonsensical plot. But, isnít this the very point of a solid caper-comedy in the first place? 

     Tonally, Oceanís Twelve is more similar to Soderberghís Solaris than it is Oceanís Eleven. Long takes and rich moods ensue. Much of the reason why I assumed that there was more happening in Oceanís Twelve than there actually was, when watching it, is because of this execution. The tone of the first film was entirely playful, allowing viewers to accept it as a straightforward romp. This oneís silliness derives from its pretend seriousness, and this often allowed me to mistake it for a ďthinking personís movieĒ, and I, accordingly, read into the characters and their motives far too extensively. If and when I see the film a second time, I will be able to enjoy it much more than I did, last night.

     Everyone from the cast of Oceanís Eleven is back for this sequel. Even though some of them spend quite a bit of time incarcerated in Oceanís Twelve, itís still nice to see the pack of familiar faces back for another heist. This time around, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), the casino-owner that they robbed in Oceanís Eleven, wants his money back, with interest. Even though his insurance company fully reimbursed him after the robbery, Benedictís request of Ocean and his crew is made in cahoots with Night Fox, a famous crook, in attempts to garner something more than just money.

     Most of the guys in the pack of eleven have already spent much of their shares of the loot from the previous robbery. As a result, they must head on over to Amsterdam, where their criminal status is unknown, and execute a new heist plan and steal enough to pay Benedict back by the deadline he has provided them with. Hot on their tails and following their tracks is detective Isabel Lahiri (Catherine Zeta-Jones), the ex-girlfriend of Ocean-member Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt). As the movie progresses, viewers discover more about the purpose of the heist. Most will have put the pieces of the plot together by its end, but those who are hesitant about the fair amount of simplicity and contrivance in the movie, as I was, may find themselves contemplating the chain of events, after the credits have rolled.

     While the actual heist plot is the focus of the film, the conversation in it is its greatest asset, especially that of which includes Matt Damonís apprehensive but power-hungry Linus. One scene, in which George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and another character speak entirely in code-lingo and Damon, not understanding a single word, tries to join in on the discussion, is priceless. Another one of my favorite parts of the film is shared between Damon and Zeta-Jones, as they both deliver sly, sexed-up, quick back-and-forth dialogue. The highlighting moment of Oceanís Twelve, however, takes place when Julia Robertís Tess pretends to beÖwellÖRoberts, herself.

     Looking back on my experience watching Oceanís Twelve, I realize that it is actually an entirely fun movie. At first thought, it may be frustrating, just because the rather simple plot is easy to become tied up in, due to its lack of logic and a solid structure. However, after the viewer allows their self to get past such, they will realize just how amusingly lackadaisical it is. The story of this picture reminds me of something from Old Hollywood, completely foolish but very suspenseful. Any viewer without huge expectations in the area of plot is guaranteed to have a fun time with Oceanís Twelve.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews (12.19.2004)


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