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Ocean's Twelve (2 stars out of 5)
Everyone has fun except us. Ocean's Twelve 's crew seems to say, "Look at us, we're famous." But the film is a dud.
By Roger Moore | Sentinel Movie Critic
Posted December 10, 2004
The Matt-Brad Pack, Clooney's Cronies -- or, if you prefer, Julia Roberts and a Few Good Men -- are back for another wink at stealing other people's property in Ocean's Twelve. But they don't exactly invite us along for the ride.
This embarrassing sequel to the 2001 remake of the old Rat Pack romp is bogus on a biblical scale -- a bunch of smug movie stars, goofing on their images, wandering through the wilderness for 40 years. Or what seems like it.
"Lookit us. We're equally famous!"
Gosh, but Brad, George, Matt, Julia, those other guys and newcomer Catherine Zeta-Jones look like they're having fun as they make this. Well, Catherine doesn't.
You would think Burt Reynolds had revived the Cannonball Run franchise.
It's "31/2 years later" in our story since the lads and lass (Roberts) ripped off Andy Garcia's Vegas casino for $160 million. We spend the interminable first 20 minutes of this movie as Benedict (Garcia) tracks down each thief.
One is about to marry a Mormon, over his brother's objections. One is getting his nails done in Jersey. One is off in Rome, romancing a cop who chases thieves (Pitt, making nice with Zeta-Jones). The funny little Chinese contortionist is in Miami, living with a model. The rest of Ocean's Eleven (they argue over how they came to take Danny Ocean's name) are tripped up in London, Chicago, New York, Vegas and New Orleans.
Oh, and Danny and Tess, played by Clooney and Roberts, have set up housekeeping in Connecticut.
They're caught. Benedict wants his money back, with interest.
"You have two weeks."
Because they're too hot to work in the States, they dash over to Europe, first to Amsterdam, then Rome and the Lake Como region.
Why? Because Clooney owns a house on Lake Como, bless his heart. And you wondered why he's stopped working so hard.
A general laziness was the hallmark of the original Sinatra-Martin-Sammy Davis Jr. Rat Pack movies, and that's much in evidence here. Whatever the plot (a competition with a great French thief), the paltry payoff isn't worth sitting through it.
All these names, all these faces. They cast Robbie Coltrane and Jeroen Krabbe in supporting roles, and didn't have enough screen time to use more than Krabbe's face.
Director Steven Soderbergh can't give everybody screen time. But he tries. There's no thread developed enough to be worth following, no character interesting enough to identify with.
Pitt plus Zeta-Jones equals zero chemistry. The movie all but forgets Julia Roberts until the finale, which smacks of gasping-for-breath desperation. It's almost funny.
Clooney goofs on his age, Roberts on how much her Tess looks like Julia Roberts. Damon plays young and eager and annoying. Pitt strikes cool poses.
Bernie Mac looks annoyed at being edited into the corner. Don Cheadle polishes his British accent. The amusing old guys, Elliott Gould and Carl Reiner, still amuse.
"I want the last check that I write," Saul (Reiner) declares, "to bounce."
And the feuding brothers, Scott Caan and Casey Affleck, plainly put some effort into their coordinated bickering.
But everybody else was waiting for the other member of the Eleven-turned-Twelve to do the heavy lifting. None does. There's no menace to the villains, no sense of urgency and no cleverness in the capers.
A few cute lines, some cute grins showing off the best work of Hollywood's makeup artists and dentists.
And, one would hope, checks big enough to allow all of them to move in next door to George on Lake Como. But it's not like they're inviting us to their housewarming.
Roger Moore can be reached at email@example.com or 407-420-5369.
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