The last time we saw Danny Ocean's crew, they were paying back ruthless casino mogul Terry Benedict after stealing millions from him. However, it's been a while since they've come back together, which is all about to change. When one of their own, Reuben Tishkoff, builds a hotel with another casino owner, Willy Bank, the last thing he ever wanted was to get cut out of the deal personally by the loathsome Bank. Bank's attitude even goes so far as to finding the amusement in Tishkoff's misfortune when the double crossing lands Reuben in the hospital because of a heart attack. However, Danny and his crew won't stand for Bank and what he's done to a friend. Uniting with their old enemy Benedict, who himself has a vendetta against Bank, the crew is out to pull off a major plan; one that will unfold on the night Bank's newest hot spot opens up. They're not in this for the money, but for the revenge. Written by
Suite Bergamasque, Clair de Lune, No. 3
Written by Claude Debussy (1905) and Isao Tomita (2000)
Performed by Isao Tomita
Courtesy of Sony BMG Masterworks
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment See more »
When I visited the Warner Studios in Los Angeles last year, my family and me had a tour; the guide was explaining to us that most of the stages, at that time, were being used for the movie "Ocean's 13". I recognized the Bank Casino in the film; I saw it when they were constructing it. My point is that if they were using all these stages for one movie, it involved big money, big production. Was all of this money unnecessarily spent? No, because they're getting it back with interests.
However, "Ocean's 13" is, by all means, an unnecessary film. We keep getting all these sequels (there are more coming, don't count them) and it's hard to see one doing things right. At least this Ocean travesty is not the embarrassment that was "Mission Impossible 3", but it's too much for Soderbergh, Clooney, Pitt, Damon and the guys; they've taken it too far.
I invited a friend to watch the film and he said he didn't want to because he hadn't seen the first two. Well, you don't really need to watch the first two installments to watch this one, if you date to plan to. You see? The only connection between the three pictures is the cast, the director and David Holmes' entertaining and very loud score. The three films were written by different people and involve one or more big heists that develop throughout the piece; you don't need to be a genius to write something funny and the effort is less if persons like a relaxed Clooney, Pitt and Pacino (what a waste) are saying your lines.
The formula worked well in the first two movies. A lot of people didn't like "Ocean's 12" because they said it didn't take itself seriously, and because it used Julia Roberts as herself for a very funny scene. The truth is that "Ocean's 11" didn't take itself seriously either; it was just Soberbergh and his actors having fun. And the fact that they wanted to travel to Europe and that they invented a plot line to pull the second film off there is so joyful; because cinema can be about having fun and that's the formula these guys chose: slick fun.
But when "Ocean's 13" begins, you can sense something's missing; it's the fun. Maybe it's because the script takes itself too seriously, maybe because it tries to be funny at the same time, or because the actors are not feeling their characters any longer. Maybe the whole movie takes itself seriously (which I doubt), but that naturalness and coziness I mentioned is gone; and the film just doesn't flow.
Fortunately, Soderbergh's camera is still a highlight, filling the piece with complex and riveting shots, and the old pros Carl Reiner and Elliott Gould have a blast; but Casey Affleck's Spanish speaking and an entire Mexican plot line is completely out of place. Let's just hope the honorable Soderbergh doesn't get the team back for a fourth round: it's not working anymore.
One more thing: there's a character played by David Paymer...It must be one of the most unfortunate characters in movie history...Watch and tell me if I'm wrong.
13 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?