By Damian Garde, senior, Los Lunas High School
For the Journal
MOVIE REVIEW: While no one can deny the Rat Pack once personified cool with Frank Sinatra's seedy mob ties and Sammy Davis Jr.'s jive talk their legend hasn't aged well.
But in the original "Ocean's Eleven," they were something to see.
As the first sequel to a remake I've ever heard of, "Ocean's Twelve" catches up with "Eleven's" replacements, the next generation of panache. Just as "Ocean's Eleven" left us with the gang of hooligans walking off into the sunset, "Ocean's Twelve" finds them forced back into the long con.
Terry Benedict, the owner of the hotel they robbed, has discovered each of their locations. Rather than murder them, as he promised to do in "Eleven," Benedict opts to give the crooks two weeks to refund his money. Not without interest, of course, tacking on an extra $9 million a piece.
Faced with the task of raising nearly $200 million in 14 days, the 11 outlaws are forced to reconvene and get back to business. Naturally, this calls for a shot in which all 11 sit around a room and make wry remarks about whatever. And, it's these remarks that make "Ocean's Twelve" so impeccably cool. Every henchman has his own well developed style, and together they are not only a talented team of thieves, but a crack crew of comedians.
Any second rate caper flick can boast a harebrained plot to steal something implausible, but very view can match the interplay and ingenuity of the characters in "Ocean's Twelve." And it doesn't hurt that Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia and Matt Damon lend their talents to the story.
Visionary director Steven Soderbergh returns with his trademark techniques, this time borrowing heavily from the styles of the 1960s. While "Eleven" was steeped in the scenery and lore of Las Vegas, "Twelve" takes a tour of Europe. This allows Soderbergh to take a more vintage, hip angle at shooting a heist. Thus, each shot looks like an ad for cars, fashion or cologne.
In general, cameo appearances are lame, groan-worthy affairs thrown into bad movies to kill a few minutes. "Ocean's Twelve," however, has the cleverest cameo in film history, toying with the wall that separates movie stars and the people they portray. Of course, I wouldn't dare reveal it.
Instead of revisiting the same old conflicts in "Ocean's Eleven," a film in which everything goes right, "Ocean's Twelve" treads new territory as everything goes wrong. In the tradition of Frank, Dean, Sammy and Joey, "Ocean's Twelve" is a study in felon finesse.