I am a huge fan of heist films, and the first Ocean’s (circa Clooney) is one of my favorites. While this entry was entertaining and very satisfying I can’t claim that it exceeds the original. It completely dominates the 2nd attempt, but lets face it you can put a search in on YouTube for “dog takes shit” and accomplish that*.
Each of the teammates are fully fleshed out this time around versus sticking half on the back burner, and the movie really benefits from it. Caan and Affleck’s brotherly bickering, the Asian guys Wookie-eske foreign quips and Basher’s brief stint as the motocross daredevil all add icing onto of the Clooney/Pitt/Damon centered plot. Even Bernie Mack was tolerable, but I’ll never admit that once I realize I’ve said it. Where there thirteen of them this time considering that the ladies were absent from the crew? (It’s not their fight apparently, and are thus not included in this Oceanic outing).
Newcomers to the series fit in well without feeling forced based on star power as seen in the 2nd film, especially Eddie Izzard’s small but poignant role as Roman the ‘expert’. Ellen Barkin does wonders for the film’s notable lack of female touch (and in my opinion looks better doing it that Roberts and Zeta-Jones did last time) and Al Pacino naturally does a terrific job at being a believable badguy if not a declawed one.
I have to say revenge can be a terrific motivator and a great movie plot, however 13’s attempt at motivating the crew back into action is lukewarm and fails to establish Al Pacino was a badguy’s badguy. Not wanting to spoil anything for anyone planning on seeing it; he basically screws a money hungry Elliot Gould by buying out his share of a casino. This startles Elliot so much that he has a heart attack/stroke or whatever. Oh no! The only way he’ll pull through is if he has something to live for. You know what that might be? Revenge…A dish apparently best served slowly over 2 hours! While the reason is less than stellar the heist, the characters, the interactions and the twists are classic Ocean and very much worth experiencing. The interactions between Pitt and Clooney showcase how well everything fits together in this film. These guys, though across the board, work together as a team and a believable team at that, which I think is one of the major accomplishments of the films.
*Speaking of YouTube; I realize I’m late to the plate on these but ‘The ‘Bu’ might just beat out Chad Vader for my favorite ‘tube collections check it out at the office sometime.