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8 Magazine/Entertainment


Heist sequel requires investment


By LIZ PERCAK-DENNETT
Daily News correspondent

(Published: December 17, 2004)

Theft movies all strike me as copy cats. They have an object worth stealing, the task of pulling off the heist and then the surprise ending that leaves you wondering how their plan came off.

Even though these movies have their cliches, every now and then a heist film becomes an instant classic. A few years ago, "Ocean's Eleven" was that movie. This year, "Ocean's Twelve" is a sequel worth remembering.

It all started in "Ocean's Eleven" with the largest theft from a casino to date, a reward that left 11 thieves, led by Danny Ocean (George Clooney), dripping in riches. We catch up with the thieves living it up a few years later, and all is well. That is until they are tracked down and bound to repay their debt to the casino owner, played by Andy Garcia.

Things get tricky as the thieves band together to repay their debt. Some great plot twists and turns sneak into "Twelve," and even though most movies like this pack an ending that throws you left, right and left again, "Twelve" features the ending to top all endings.

It's definitely worth the price of admission.

The entire posse from the original is back, including Clooney, Garcia, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt. Catherine Zeta-Jones enters as a new character.

Unlike typical Hollywood flicks in which actors compete with one another to garner the bulk of the attention, here no one shows up anyone else.

It is great to see the Rat Pack, who made the original original in the 1960s, seem reborn on the big screen for some good, old-fashioned thievery; however, "Twelve" plays out to an unimpressive two-plus hours. The energy tapers off into dull paces about halfway through, but it manages to pick up speed for the sure-fire ending.

One thing I am not a fan of is "sequel necessity," in which you need to see the original to follow the second. Although it's nice to have a movie that continues so smoothly from the first, a four-hour time obligation is big. If you plan to see "Ocean's Twelve," make sure you're familiar with the first installment. If you're not up to speed with who's who, then you're going to get lost.

If you liked "Ocean's Eleven," then "Ocean's Twelve" is for you. Although it's a little slow and the plot isn't as refreshing as the original, it's difficult to turn down a good job, right?

Liz Percak-Dennett is a freshman at the University of Alaska Anchorage.


LIZ'S REEL WORLD

OCEAN'S TWELVE continues at the Dimond (566-3327), Fireweed (566-3328), Kenai Kambe (1-907-283-4554), Totem (566-3329) and Valley (694-5858). 125 minutes. PG-13 (for language).

Critics' rating: 8888

Liz's rating: 888*


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