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Ocean's 12: See it for the stars, not for the plot
By Kevin Dugan
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Apparently it is pretty easy to make a quality film when you have a half dozen of the sexiest and most talented actors in Hollywood. Who knew? While the script and plot development of Ocean's Twelve might have some gaping holes, they are easily glossed over by the charm of Brad Pitt, elegance of Julia Roberts, the goofiness of Matt Damon, the comedy of Bernie Mac, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
In this new Steven Soderbergh film, the crew of Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is caught up with by the malicious casino mogul that they stole millions of dollars from several years ago. To avoid sleeping with the fishes, they travel to Europe to make some high-scale robberies and repay their debt plus interest by breezing through a few jobs.
It is in Europe, though, that they run into trouble with a rival thief interfering with their work, and they are even forced to have to deal with European task forces throguhout the movie.
A common fault in sequels is that the plots take a nosedive for the worse, and Ocean's Twelve is no exception. The makers are no longer dealing with an original idea, and they had to make up a whimsical tale and fill it in with some fluffy dialogue.
The motivation is no longer there to create the best and most clever plot, simply because there is already an Ocean's Eleven legacy that they could leech off of for support regardless of how good this film turns out to be. There are too many gimmicky things tried in Ocean's Twelve to make it seem like a better movie than it really is.
Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken, and sticking a handful of prominent actors in a movie will not automatically make the plot a terrific one.
As soon as Roberts's character is said to look like actress Roberts, a collective groan can be heard given off from the audience. That and a cameo from Bruce Willis are enough to make me throw up just a little bit in my mouth. It is lame things like these that keep the movie from reaching the same heights as its predecessor.
The script is not completely void of humor and entertainment, but the same words and actions given perhaps to a slightly less prestigious cast would have definitely resulted in a blunder of a film.
The interaction of Pitt and Clooney is especially amusing in the movie, as well as the way that the two haze Damon into the gang. Unfortunately Bernie Mac has only one or two lines, but Pitt picks up the torch for the funniest guy in the cast and does a good job of making the audience laugh throughout the film.
Typically in movies like these with lots of highly paid actors, the sequels flop belly-up because some of the actors will not sign on to act in the sequel. Here in Ocean's Twelve, however, they managed not only to get everyone back but also contracted Catherine Zeta-Jones for the film. It is for this reason, and this reason alone, that Ocean's Twelve will do well in the box office and is a movie worth seeing.
You'll have lots of time over break to see movies, I am sure. Ocean's Twelve and other movies (Meet the Fockers, The Life Aquatic) will make a pleasant substitution for spending another two grueling hours with your parents, so get out and go see some movies this break.
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