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 »
It's been about 48 hours now since I saw "Ocean's Thirteen." I saw it with a group of people (the only way to see a movie), and the movie took so long to get going, I really got the impression that my friends were hating it. The theater didn't laugh very often, I laughed less, and when the lights came up, my friends told me what a good movie it was. "Definitely better than the second," they said.
I disagreed, but it took me a while to figure out why. "O13" isn't bad, per se, and I didn't really hate it while I was watching it, though it did take a while for it to get going. I think, ultimately, the reason the first movie was so good, was because it was fun, funny, and witty, but still knew the difference between "when to be funny" and "when to not be funny." Andy Garcia's character was dangerous, and treated as such. The situations were potentially dangerous, and you got the sense of real peril for the characters. You knew what was at stake. It was a real movie, and just as good on repeat viewings, due to a really original and fresh approach (as well as some great one-liners).
The second movie wasn't reviewed nearly as well, and having watched it again since, it's really not bad either, except for the huge and sudden changes in tone throughout, as well as the fact that it pulls the last 10 minutes out of its rear end. It was originally written as a different movie, then re-tooled for the "Ocean's" cast, and you can kinda tell; it's darker, tries to be more clever than it actually is, and as a result, is a lot less fun.
Whatever strengths the first two movies may or may not have had, the third is lacking them all, except the actors. Everyone from Clooney on down, including Pacino, Vincent Cassel and Eddie Izzard, all bring their A-game, and are pleasant to watch. But the plot is minimal; whether there was a screenplay or not (and there was, from the writers of "Rounders"), you still get the impression that this is just an excuse for buddies to hang out in Vegas and shoot a movie, a la "Blue in the Face" back in the mid-1990's. No one has to do any heavy lifting, and the only actors who even try are the bickering brothers of Casey Affleck and Scott Caan, and of course Pacino, though he could be phoning it in too, and you'd never know it.
Whether you're a movie fanatic or not, the three films can still be summed up by their opening shots. In the first film, cut to: a chair. Clooney sits down in it. The movie itself is really about him, and what makes his Danny Ocean tick, not just before, but during, and after the action. In the second film, cut to: a magnifying glass. Brad Pitt walks into a room, and the next 100 minutes is a closer look at Rusty's life and his relationship with the woman he wakes up in that first scene. Third film? Cut to: a toy store. Yeah, that sounds about right. Soderbergh ain't so dumb.
8 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?