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
I was a huge fan of Ocean's Eleven, it was smart, witty, funny and in my opinion the best remake I have ever seen. The great cast and the smart dialogue just made it a pleasure to watch, leading my expectations to reach phenomenal levels before seeing its follow up, Ocean's Twelve. So perhaps that is why Ocean's Twelve seemed such a let down, my expectations were to high. As a result of this originally my expectations for Ocean's Thirteen were horribly low, I contemplated not even seeing it at one point. However after re watching Ocean's Eleven, I decided to give it a chance, perhaps Soderbergh at made an effort this time, perhaps it would reclaim the glory of the original movie. Thankfully it has not only reclaimed my respect for the series, but also produced, in my eyes, the best entry so far. The return to Las Vegas has also seen a return of a great script, a plot that is followable, decent jokes and also just a sense of fun that Ocean's Twelve was sorely lacking. In many ways this makes up for the mistake that was the past movie, this is the sequel we should have had. In actual fact, apart from maybe a couple of details, this movie has next to nothing following on from the second movie. This is a good thing as it allows more people to see the quality first movie and then not have to worry about seeing the horrific second one before seeing the best of the series.
Ocean's Eleven worked particularly well because of its starry cast, and the fact the cast were clearly having an absolute ball making the movie. We had George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts and loads more. Ocean's Twelve saw the inclusion of more stars, including Catherine Zeta-Jones and Vincent Cassel. In Ocean's Thirteen two of the cast members have gone, thankfully the lack of Julia Roberts and Zeta-Jones doesn't leave a mark at all. In fact it seems a bit of a breath of fresh air, and even fresher when the reasoning for them not being in the movie is explained with one line of dialogue. But to make up for their disappearance we get Al Pacino in their stead, and trust me he more than makes up for it. Andy Garcia was a great villain in the original, but he lack the menace that Al Pacino has. He easily steals the beginning of the movie, and he threatens to steal it for the whole movie as well. He isn't overused, and he's certainly never underused. He's the best villain this series has had and it makes the quality of the movie increase. But of course this is still the original elevens' movie, and all of them get their moments to shine. George Clooney is still the best, he's such a great actor to watch as he just oozes star quality. He's the kind of person you wouldn't mind meeting in real life because he seems a genuinely nice guy. He's also used more in this movie, unlike in Twelve where he seemed to co-star in a movie with his name in the title. Brad Pitt is used less than Twelve here, and thankfully that works as well. My biggest problem with Twelve was the fact Rusty took centre stage, and in my opinion Rusty isn't an interesting character. In small doses he's brilliant, but in large doses his character just isn't good enough. Matt Damon has some great comedic moments here and there, Andy Garcia continues his role with style, Eddie Izzard's character actually seems to have a point here, and all the rest of the cast just carries on perfectly. They're all having a blast and they put their all into this movie.
So what of the actual storyline then? Well the actual motives for this movie seems to have improved a lot. Ocean's Twelve's storyline just didn't work for me, I liked the fact that they had to re-pay their money to Bennedict, but I didn't like the fact it got all involved with Vincent Cassel's jewel thief. Here though its all about revenge, and it works better here. It also helps that Al Pacino's Willy Bank is such a jerk that you can't wait to see the gang exact their revenge on him. How they do it, and if they do it I will leave as a surprise, and trust me there are a few little surprises install along the way. Some characters show up that you don't expect to show up, and also the movies pacing is tremendous. It throws you in at the deep end, the planning stage isn't very long, its all about the actual heist pretty much. The opening and the first half is generally talking, which some people might dislike. I personally loved it as the conversations were brilliant, and the quick fire dialogue a welcome relief from the clunky blockbuster stuff I'm used to at the moment.
Overall Ocean's Thirteen is a masterclass in smart, silly blockbusters. Its storyline is preposterous, and how the heist goes is a bit silly, but that's part of the fun, that's what makes the Ocean's series in general such a blast. The movies ooze style (yes even Twelve to some extent). If this is the final movie of the Ocean's series, and I personally believe it is, then they have the left the series on a very high. This has the potential to end up being the best Blockbuster of the summer, a surprise as I really didn't expect much from this. I highly recommend it, its cool, funny slick and most importantly of all, very cool.
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