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Film Title

Ocean’s Twelve

Director

Steven Soderbergh

Starring

  • George Clooney as Danny Ocean
  • Brad Pitt as Rusty Ryan
  • Matt Damon as Linus Caldwell
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones as Isabel Lahiri
  • Julia Roberts as Tess Ocean
  • Andy Garcia as Terry Benedict
  • Don Cheadle as Basher Tarr
  • Bernie Mac as Frank Catton
  • Casey Affleck as Virgil Malloy
  • Scott Caan as Turk Malloy
  • Vincent Cassel as Francois Toulour/ The Night Fox
  • Eddie Jemison as Livingston Dell
  • Carl Reiner as Saul  Bloom
  • Elliott Gould as Reuben Tishkoff
  • Shaobo Qin as Yen

As a follow-up to the successful Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve is still entertaining in its own way. It just happens to fall short by becoming overly complex and not using the ensemble cast as well as it could. It’s not a complete mess, but it could have been better.

Ever since pulling off their audacious major heist on casino owner Terry Benedict, Danny Ocean and the rest of his crew have been living apart and quietly with their takings. Ocean's Twelve PosterUnfortunately, this state of anonymous bliss is broken( which for smooth talking Danny has included reconciling with his wife Tess) when the angry and well-connected Benedict locates all of them and demands that they pay back the large sum they stole from him plus interest. Assembling the group, who are short of paying their halves of the money, they head to Amsterdam where they are told of a potential heist could take place. The crew has two weeks to repay the ruthless Terry or else things could be fatal for all involved. The hitch of the plan is that there is a gifted, arrogant cat burglar known as the Night Fox who beats them to it, forcing the crew to reconsider something else to steal. Striking an uneasy deal with the slimy Night Fox whose real name is Francois Toulour and a very rich man, the group plans to steal a Fabergé egg that should cover their debt to the vengeful Terry. Isabel Ocean's TwelveAnother obstacle comes in the shapely and sharp form of Isabel Lahiri, an extremely determined Europol detective who is put on the case and discovers that her former lover Rusty is part of the crew, causing various complications with putting the plan in motion and finally executing it. The question is will Danny and his cohorts be able to successfully do this heist and get the money before it is their necks on the chopping block?

A complex and labyrinthine plot is what makes Ocean’s Twelve a step down as it becomes overly clever and twists too much. And while Steven Soderbergh once again contributes his stylish sense of film making to the proceedings, he can’t make it flow together because of how convoluted the script becomes. Danny, Rusty and LinusSaying that, there are still some killer one-liners and hilarity, but in terms of pacing Twelve drags in comparison with its quick-footed predecessor. I have to compliment the visuals in Twelve which can’t be faulted and put the glamorous locales in glorious colours and mood, not to mention some slick costumes. There is something almost tired about Twelve, like because the first one did well they should make it a bit more complicated, yet this idea doesn’t work that well in theory. This is most apparent in the non-linear structure which works in the very beginning as the story is set up, but then descends into over confidence and confusion. The Night FoxAnd unlike the first movie that had quite a good bit of tension going on as the merry band of thieves were slipping past danger and averting trouble, Twelve is strangely devoid of the suspenseful heist we witnessed first time around. It is still an audacious heist that they must take part in, but the handling of it feels clumsy at best. A suitably cool score, accented with lively jazz and Rat Pack attitude at least gives Ocean’s Twelve hints of classy caper and adventure.

The starry cast is back with some new additions this time and while many are excellent, the way the script is done leaves many on the sidelines and doesn’t give some characters enough time to make an impression. Ocean's Twelve CastAs always, George Clooney is suave and devilish as main man Danny, who knows that the stakes are high in this heist and how the lives of everyone he cares about are on the line. The same goes for Brad Pitt as the lovable Rusty, whose relationship with Isabel begins to complicate matters that are already mounting. Matt Damon is a hoot as the overly eager and slightly naive Linus, who wants a central role this time and does show his skills to everyone when they get in a jam. Among the newer cast members, the beautiful Catherine Zeta-Jones makes the biggest splash as detective Isabel. Somewhat icy and passionate in her dedication, her resolve gets tested by former lover Rusty coming into the case. Jones makes Isabel a really intelligent character who shares many sparks with Pitt’s Rusty as she tries to anticipate what he and the gang are up to. Julia Roberts has a smaller role as Tess this time around, but has some real humour especially when she is drawn in to help by taking on a disguise that is knowing and a funny in-joke. The rest of supporting cast in Twelve, although talented are given less to do in terms of material, which is very unfortunate because they all added something to the past film with their individual idiosyncrasies and tics. It’s only really Vincent Cassel as the supremely arrogant Night Fox that makes any real impression on the story out of the underused supporting cast.

So while there is obvious style and camaraderie with members of the cast, Ocean’s Twelve falls more than a little flat despite potential.

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