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Overall Rating

Awesome: 6.82%
Worth A Look: 15.15%
Just Average34.09%
Pretty Crappy34.09%
Sucks: 9.85%

12 reviews, 60 user ratings

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Ocean's Twelve
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by David Cornelius

"Good to have the gang back."
3 stars

If the 2001 “Ocean’s Eleven” was sixty percent story and forty percent attitude, then the sequel, “Ocean’s Twelve,” has its ratio reversed. The plot this time around is far less streamlined, far less focused, and yet the cool factor has been amped up from even more than it was last time out, if such a thing is possible. Steven Soderbergh’s direction is an endless showcase for hipster style, everyone in the cast is as laid back as can be, and not even a faulty plotline can throw this off.

The best reason to see “Twelve,” other than a deep-rooted desire to not let the impeccable fun of “Eleven” end just yet, is to witness Soderbergh’s trickery. The director, who’s been absent on the big screen since his underrated “Solaris” remake flopped at the box office, uses this sequel as an excuse to revel in the cinematic style of late 60s mod; with editor Steven Mirrione at his side, Soderbergh attacks us with all these cool cuts and sneaky zooms and wicked freeze frames, and I half expected a young Michael Caine to pop up somewhere.

On a sheer technical level, “Twelve” is the work of a natural craftsman. So much so, in fact, that part of the reason why I was shocked to see all of those mediocre reviews for the film was that while watching, I was so swept up in the mechanics of the film that I began not to mind the story (which I’ll get to in a moment). For every half-cocked plot turn and sloppy story padding, there’s some bit of filmmaking grooviness to hook me in. As the movie played out, I didn’t mind the wrong turns. I was too convinced that I was watching something that was working on a level other than sheer narrative.

And yet that screenplay, or lack thereof, kept coming back to haunt me, long after the movie ended. This chapter comes courtesy of writer George Nolfi, whose only other screen credit is for “Timeline,” if that tells you anything. It’s not that the script for “Twelve” is bad, and it’s not that it dares to (as I rationalized it during my viewing) try something different than merely repeat the direct caper plot of the first movie. No, it’s that (and this is what hit me once the haunting began) the script lacks anything remotely resembling focus. There’s no glue here, no sense of connectivity. Be it purposeful or accidental, the movie simply rambles.

It works in pieces, however - jokes fly, scenes crackle, smiles grow. Nolfi shows a knack for quotable dialogue and eyebrow-rasing twists. But then the credits roll, all the tidbits of cleverness fade away, and you’re left thinking, hmm, that didn’t really make much sense at all, now did it? The plot, which on the surface concerns the gang reuniting to pull another caper in order to pay back Andy Garcia, goes in too many directions at once. We’re off to Amsterdam for a big job, but then that’s not the big job, and now we’re in Paris talking to some French master thief, but wait, now it’s Rome. Maybe it’s supposed to be romantic globe-hopping, but it comes off as story meandering.

Worse, the script never bothers to give us what we loved from the first movie: all eleven stars working together. Here, chunks of the group disappear for long, long, long stretches of time, and soon we’re watching “Ocean’s Three.” (It’s even arguable about who the twelfth person is, as there are two people that kinda join the gang, plus a couple more who get hired on for cameo purposes. You’d think a movie called “Ocean’s Twelve” would know exactly who all twelve are.)

That said, I had a blast anyway. However disjointed, the picture still works as entertainment - just try not to think about it too hard when it’s over. The cast offers the same old snappiness that made “Eleven” fly, and Soderbergh’s filmmaking skills keep us won over. “Twelve” may be nowhere near the level of its predecessor, but it still works as a great ball of fun.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11326&reviewer=392
originally posted: 12/14/04 13:53:35
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User Comments

6/09/10 Serge I think it was just a filler between 11 and 13 3 stars
3/28/08 Renzo Sucks! 1 stars
6/05/07 gr117 Great soundtrack & location shots- too bad the "plot" sucked 2 stars
3/16/07 Donny M Julia Roberts Scene Stupid 3 stars
1/23/07 Matt Thirteen Oceans of unadulterated crap. Gave up after 30 mins. 1 stars
11/30/06 Candice I love this movie. 5 stars
9/12/06 Agent Sands You have to be a hardcore fan of heist movies to really enjoy it the way I do! What a ride! 5 stars
7/24/06 Sully tripe. Damon was great, everyone else was boring. ending was ridiculous! 1 stars
7/07/06 CTT The cast definitely has a better time than the audience 3 stars
5/06/06 Charlene Javier Not as bad as everyone says it is... 3 stars
2/15/06 Indrid Cold Much of the chemistry and laughs of the first one, plot somewhat weaker though. 4 stars
11/24/05 Jacques the Man Actually, this is the most entertaining film I've seen all year. 5 stars
8/27/05 Lisa Brady terribly unbelievable 2 stars
7/31/05 Beth Kerrick Was disappointed it wasn't as good as the original. Not bad, but not great. 3 stars
7/13/05 Matthew Rudawsky Julia Roberts as herself was clever, but I wouldn't bother seeing the rest a 2nd time 3 stars
6/28/05 chimera Uninspired disaster 1 stars
6/24/05 Mr Fluffy Script not as tight as Eleven but directorially it's still up there with it. 4 stars
6/23/05 Adonis Fuentes Dumb dance sequence through the lasers 3 stars
6/07/05 Agent Sands You have to be a devout fan of heist & con flicks to really enjoy it. What a ride! 5 stars
5/24/05 Casey Becher A typical, disappointing sequel 2 stars
5/21/05 Charlene Javier Great inside jokes! 3 stars
5/17/05 mysterio Very boring movie. 2 stars
5/12/05 edsandiego2 I find it very entertaining. 4 stars
5/11/05 Beardog8 Love Soderbergh, but this was a let down from all involved. 2 stars
4/29/05 Phil M. Aficionado 40 minutes in, I decided this was not worth watching. What exactly was the point? 2 stars
4/27/05 Uncle Salty Worthless, %90 soundtrack, %10 movie 1 stars
4/23/05 Dan Ok movie, original one was better and always will be. 3 stars
4/23/05 Quigley we would need shovels - no, tractors! - to heap the bullcrap higher. Brad, we've had enough 1 stars
4/22/05 Monster W. Kung Crappy and uninteresting, and the twist sucks like a hoover. 2 stars
4/14/05 Scott Lamont Very anoying and hard to follow, even harder to swallow. 3 stars
4/06/05 brody what a bootleg film 1 stars
3/25/05 Denise good 4 stars
2/12/05 Sylvia Belle I enjoyted this one very much 5 stars
2/11/05 Kelly Self-indulgent, Ego-driven BORE of a Movie. The "aren't we awesome" posturing fell flat. 2 stars
2/11/05 John Jankowski very very average.. 3 stars
2/01/05 Casey Becher A pathetic attempt at a sequel. Sometimes it's better to stop while you're ahead. 3 stars
1/15/05 Feliciano this is what a real boring movie is, a movie with actually nothing interesting. 1 stars
1/08/05 Agent Sands FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE HEIST MOVIES!!!!!!! SURPRISINGLY EQUIVALENT TO "ELEVEN"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
1/07/05 Elizabeth S Star cameo provides the movie's best moments; pretty charmless. 2 stars
1/04/05 redhand a terrable movie, pointless 1 stars
1/04/05 malcolm excellent, witty dialogue; but ending was a cheat 3 stars
1/02/05 Danno the Movie Manno Should have given Bruce Willis a bigger role 1 stars
12/27/04 efrain as one magazine put it: PEOPLE MAGAZINE COMES TO LIFE. 4 stars
12/27/04 Mike V What a boring, glitzy, empty, mess of a movie. 2 stars
12/19/04 Koitus Ugh! Cheesy details on "how the 12 did it." Identified criminals identities "too" easily. 2 stars
12/18/04 Lisa totally crappy 1 stars
12/16/04 Jack Ocean's 12 is a piece of crap. Soderbergh apparently wants to sully his reputation. 1 stars
12/16/04 Carl Utterback Amusing diversion if you liked the characters (and actors) from Ocean's 11. 4 stars
12/14/04 Elizabeth Bates Great Film!!!! 5 stars
12/14/04 Elizabeth Boring and uninspired, save for a few humorous bits. 2 stars
12/14/04 Mikester Vincent Cassel rocks ! 4 stars
12/12/04 KingNeutron I enjoyed it, espec. the "JR lookalike" subplot. ;-) 4 stars
12/12/04 rich a little too cute on itself and not enough PLOT 2 stars
12/11/04 Scott like The Village--you find out the "secret", but wish you hadn't 3 stars
12/11/04 ajay some funny moments, but overall... boring. 2 stars
12/11/04 Andrew If you don't like Ocean's 12 your too self conscience 5 stars
12/11/04 Kristina Williams celebrity whorefest 2 stars
12/11/04 Bob Kolk Not since Lost in Translation have I had a stronger urge to get up and leave a theater. 1 stars
12/10/04 John Very good movie 5 stars
12/07/04 Ray Big deal 3 stars
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  10-Dec-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 12-Apr-2005



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