Review: ‘Ocean’s Twelve’

You think we need one more? You think we need one more. Well, THEY think you need one more.

Ocean’s Eleven (the jury is still out on whoever decided to call it that) is in trouble. Following their successful heist in Las Vegas, someone has secretly ratted them out to Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), the man who’s casinos they robbed. Strangely, Mr. Benedict doesn’t take his revenge as feared and instead gives the bandits two weeks to return the stolen money… plus interest. Too hot to pull any jobs large enough in the United States, the criminals move overseas, but there’s still the question of who gave them away and why.

Fans of the first film should enjoy this one, although the writers and directors decided to go in a slightly different direction with the film. Whereas the deck was stacked against Andy Garcia’s casino owner last time, this time the chips are down for Ocean’s thieves, and the danger seems both very real and very likely that our heroes will either be killed by Benedict for default or go to jail to be killed by Benedict inside. So, who’s really the twelfth? Who wins? What are they stealing? Does it even matter?

The remake of Ocean’s Eleven was an amazing (if implausible) success, so why not a sequel? To even get a cast of well-known or sought after actors and actress this large together once was a major evolution, and director Steven Soderbergh managed to do it again. Is it better? Was it necessary? Aren’t these guys and gals just enjoying themselves on our dime and calling it a movie? Sure they are, but it works again. These thieves are the coolest of the cool and they know they’re being watched up there.

The intricacies of the plot are details not to be given away for those purists who like to keep their mysteries mysterious. For everyone else, it’s all the same people playing the same parts with Catherine Zeta-Jones added as a love interest for Brad Pitt plus the inclusion of Vincent Cassel as a rival thief with something to prove to Mr. Ocean. The one thing that HAS changed is the viewer’s point of view; thanks to clever point-of-view and steady-cam shots, the audience is drawn in to feel like THEY are the twelfth member, suffering in defeat and celebrating in triumph right along with Hollywood’s elite (and what film fan wouldn’t want to party the night away with these people, right?)

(a three skull recommendation out of four)

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