That ain't workin',
That's the way you do it.
Dire Straits, Money for Nothing
If I were going to be in one movie, I would want to be in Ocean's Twelve.
In Ocean's Twelve, you get to work in fabulous European locations trading witty banter with famous friends while sipping cocktails and being dressed in cool clothes -- well, Elliott Gould and Carl Reiner might understandably have issues with costume designer Milena Canonero.
It looks like a vacation with acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh tagging along with his camera.
That comes out in the ease and fun of many scenes and the vast, muddled stretches of theoretically plot-developing sequences in between that make this two-hour movie feel like three.
While Ocean's Eleven (2001), a remake of the 1960 Rat Pack lark, had a clever caper driving it, Ocean's Twelve is basically a Christmas tree to hang cute skits on.
The story, such as it is, involves Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), the victim of the three-casino heist in Eleven, coming back to demand each of the culprits pay him back, with interest.
To do that, they need to pull another heist. But because they're so well known to U.S. authorities, they need to play sticky fingers elsewhere.
But waiting for them in Europe are a thief who's angry that the three-casino heist has ringleader Danny Ocean (George Clooney) revered as the greatest thief in the world, and Rusty's (Brad Pitt) old flame (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who's a European police detective.
Ah, this could get complicated.
But with the film's spirit and self-absorbed wittiness, we know it won't get too bad. It's not a coherent plot, but we can easily see the escape hatches.
Now, though Ocean's Twelve can be trying, there are some hilarious moments that make the film worth warming a theater seat and a few twists you won't be able to talk about unless you've seen them. There are also numerous self-referential movie star references, though a centerpiece joke involving Tess (Julia Roberts) travels from being funny to painfully long.
Soderbergh does take the Hollywood sheen off the movie, often shooting in a grainy, jumpy cinema verite style. There are moments this feels more like Soderbergh's Traffic (2000) than Ocean's Eleven.
But unlike both of those films, it doesn't seem like anyone was working too hard here.
PG-13 (for language). 120 min. Lexington Green, Regal, Turfland, Woodhill.
Reach Rich Copley at (859) 231-3217 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3217, or rcopley@ herald-leader.com.