Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ocean's Twelve

Sometimes a movie is a surprise hit and there were no immediate plans to make a sequel. Most of the time when that happens, the sequel just feels like a class reunion and not a film. Such is the case with Ocean's Twelve.

I really enjoyed the first film. Not only did it have a stellar cast, but they all felt like they belonged in the film. Each character had a purpose, a certain skill all the other characters lacked. It was well paced too. The script was clever and fun and didn't feel like a star vehicle for the big names in the cast.
This film reunites ALL the members of the first film's cast, but that doesn't mean that they'll all be in the movie for very long. Most of them (namely Carl Reiner, Bernie Mac and Elliot Gould) are only guest starring so that George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon can take center stage. The leftovers do nothing but sit around in European hotel rooms and talk about stealing stuff and that's it. The computer geek never uses a computer, the demolitions expert never blows anything up, the flexible Korean guy folds himself into a large duffel bag not to assist in a heist, but just so the movie has an ongoing joke about him getting shipped to the wrong airport.

The film's set up is that Benedict (Andy Garcia), who the Eleven stole millions of dollars from in the first film, tracks each of the Eleven down and tells them they have 2 weeks to repay what they stole from him. So the Eleven plan to move to Europe and start stealing from the eccentrically rich in order to recoup what they've spent of the loot. An old girlfriend of Rusty's (Brad Pitt), who is a Europol agent, is hot on their tails and they encounter a kooky French super-thief who wants to prove he's the best in the business.
Sounds kinda weak, huh? Well it is. The plot is limply strung together by tedious dialogue sequences that really have nothing to do with anything, there's a boring sub-plot about Rusty trying to get back together with his ex (played by a wasted Catherine Zeta-Jones), a bunch of honor among thieves poop, and double/triple crosses and a plot twist that comes out of nowhere that isn't shocking, but really cheesy.

And the big travesty? They don't really steal anything! Well they do, but it's all in flashback and it's after the fact. They sure talk about stealing stuff, but that's it.
The first half of the movie is pointless dribble, the last half picks up a little, but not by much. It took a big celebrity spoof sequence involving Julia Roberts to get my attention, but that didn't last long. There's a cool little sequence where a French thief (played by an also wasted Vincent Cassel) uses capoeira to get past a series of lasers guarding a treasure.

But that's all she wrote. It's a slow, drawn out, pointless mess of a film that was only made to capitalize on the popularity of the first film and its massive cast. It lacks everything that made the first film entertaining, and that's a sad thing when you have such great talent both behind and in front of the camera. Steven Soderbergh should be ashamed of himself. Go back to indie films dude, they miss you.

1 of 5

*written 12/12/04

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