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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 robertrosado

"An inside joke that I didn’t get."
2 stars

In 2001, I was delighted to see Steven Soderbergh’s remake of the celebrated 1960 crime caper, “Ocean’s Eleven”. Aside from the outstanding ensemble cast (that featured such luminaries as George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Carl Reiner, Elliot Gould, Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle, and Andy Garcia), what made the 2001 original so good was the crackling, fat-free screenplay by Ted Griffin (“Matchstick Men”). Aside from being devastatingly witty, Griffin also penned characters that were interesting to watch, because of their individuality and quirkiness. To top the proceedings off, there was also an elaborate, spectacularly staged heist. That sequence alone was worthy of applause. Unfortunately, “Ocean’s Twelve”, written by George Nolfi (“Timeline”) does not award the audience that luxury.

Set three years after the events in “Ocean’s Eleven”, the gang find themselves in deep trouble when casino owner Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) calls on them and demands his $160 million back, plus interest, within two weeks. Since they are “too hot” in the States, they must find somewhere else to run their business. Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his team are off to Europe to steal a diamond-encrusted egg. To make matters worse, Rusty (Brad Pitt) is closely hounded by Isabel Lahiri (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a Europol agent… and his ex-girlfriend.

To be quite honest, most of the characters in “Ocean’s Twelve” don’t even seem like the same ones from the original. How could they? A good portion of them are so thinly written, and aren’t given nearly enough screen time to register with the audience. Whereas they all had ample time in the original, they are just window dressing. Steven Soderbergh is such a skilled director, and it’s to his credit that he gave harmless fun like “Ocean’s Eleven” urgency and weight. However, I doubt that anyone could have helped this film’s pace. It felt like the longest two hours of my life. The love story between Rusty and Isabel should have been very sexy, considering that the characters are played by two of the world’s most beautiful people. It comes off feeling stale and flat, almost as if it never goes anywhere... Oh, and remember that really cool heist I was talking about before? The heist for this one is only two minutes long. Wait… Yeah, two minutes. I sat there, watching it, and said to myself: “That’s it?”

The sole character to actually benefit from Nolfi’s screenplay is Matt Damon (“The Bourne Supremacy”), whose Linus Caldwell is desperately trying to join the top of the team. The only other actor in this film who looks like she did some productive character work is the rarely impressive Catherine Zeta-Jones (“Chicago”). Her performance as Isabel is authoritative and, in some of the later scenes, quietly touching. Julia Roberts (“Closer”), Casey Affleck (“Gerry”), and Scott Caan (“Dallas 362”) also have some choice moments. Everyone else (including Don Cheadle, Elliot Gould, Carl Reiner, and Bernie Mac) is there only because they were in the original. At least, that’s what it feels like. Shockingly, I believe that George Clooney (“Solaris”) only clocked in less than 1/3 of the running time. This is not good, considering he is playing the title character.

Vincent Cassel (“Irreversible”) is okay as villain François Toulour. He is like the Terry benedict of "Twelve". Unlike Benedict, however, he is not very memorable. He enters the game about half-way through, and seems to come out of nowhere. Speaking of Benedict, I constantly forget that he was in this film. His role here does not make much of an impression. Bruce Willis (“The Sixth Sense”) makes a funny cameo as himself.

That being said, there is some attractive photography by Chris Connier and Soderbergh. The filtered images of Rome and Amsterdam are impeccably shot, and almost as beautiful as the cast. As with the original, the jazz-infused score by David Holmes helps to liven the pace a bit, even when nothing is happening (which is quite often). The undeniably slow pace is aided, to a minimal degree, by Stephen Mirrione’s slick editing.

The final five minutes of the film are what appears to be the wrap party for the cast. They are all shaking hands, hugging, drinking, and having a few laughs. This is the part where the audience can enjoy a sigh of relief; the characters that they have grown to love are well and happy. Looking around in the dimly-lit theatre, all I saw were people gathering up their coats and leaving. Judging from that footage, the film looked like it was a lot of fun to make. And, I’m sure it was. I just wish I was in on it.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11326&reviewer=394
originally posted: 01/04/05 13:09:44
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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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