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Perfect World

Despite sap, 'Ocean' sequel steals hearts
REVIEW: New movie has plenty of plot twists and heist high jinks.

Perfect World

(Published: December 17, 2004)

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My friends are huge "Ocean's Eleven" fans. Some of them have seen it so many times they can recite whole scenes and play name-that-line with the script. Naturally, they were ecstatically counting down the days until its sequel, "Ocean's Twelve," came out.

There was no way out of it: I had to see the flick or face the shame of my friends.

I'd seen the first movie once or twice and was not incredibly impressed with it, despite the funny dialogue. After watching the trailer for "Ocean's Twelve," though, I got the impression that the second go was going to be playing more for laughs than following an actual plot.

To a certain extent I was right. "Ocean's Twelve" still had the funny comeback lines and amusing circumstances that "Ocean's Eleven" did, but it also had a fairly well-developed plot. It is the tale of a band of thieves who reunite for heists in Rome, Paris and Amsterdam. The movie starts out kind of slow, with Terry Benedict, the villain-turned-victim of the first film, going around to all the characters telling them they have two weeks to give him his money back. The plot really didn't pick up until a third of the way through.

I suppose this helps to develop the characters more, letting the audience learn more about Brad Pitt's role in particular. The movie works on Pitt's past, bringing in Catherine Zeta-Jones as an embittered ex. Jones does a fine-enough job, but her British accent seemed to be faltering throughout the film.

Although there wasn't any symbolism to wonder about, the film was a bit hard to follow, especially in the beginning when the group deliberates about what to do. I was lost trying to figure out the plot, but as the movie went on, it became more clear.

"Ocean's Twelve" is as cute and funny as the first one, and maybe it's cuter and funnier. The film still includes all your favorite characters from the first but also adds in more amusing circumstances, like references to the real world (like Julia Roberts, hint hint).

Watch for another Topher Grace cameo as an uncannily accurate "troubled artist." He steals the scene, making references to his new movie, "In Good Company," by saying, "I totally phoned in that Dennis Quaid movie." Bruce Willis does a hilarious bit too, playing himself better than anybody ever could.

The only major criticism I have is that the director and screenwriters decided to include a scene toward the end that is incredibly sappy and sickeningly sweet. The only good reason for it was to connect all the characters, but the film really could have done without it. I'm not sure about the rest of the audience, but I was cringing the whole way through it.

Overall, "Ocean's Twelve" was worth going to see, and I would highly recommend it to anyone in the mood for a heist comedy.

Rin Wilhelmi is a sophomore at West High.


OCEAN'S TWELVE continues at the Dimond, Fireweed, Kambe, Totem and Valley. PG-13.

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