A good sequel is a rare thing. Ocean's Twelve is just a pretty good story. While it is more intricate than the first movie (Ocean's Eleven) it's the same misdirection style, but this time with numerous twists.
Steven Soderbergh's sequel to the remake of the Rat Pack original would be better pegged as Soderbergh's Twelve, with more stars than the milky way -- George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Andy Garcia, the list goes on and on. And how long has a sequel been planned? During a promotional tour for Ocean's Eleven at a press conference the question of a sequel was first asked, and the producers started with ideas the same night.
Ocean's Twelve's plot is a combination of two separate stories, one story about a grudge between thieves, and one the other about an American thief in Europe. The grudge between thieves is the major influence on the story, with Vincent Cassel playing one of the greatest thieves of all time with a mysterious grudge, and an ego bigger than his mansion on Lake Como in Italy.
Remember in Ocean's Eleven where everything goes right? Well from the beginning, everything goes wrong for the crew in Ocean's Twelve. Terry Benedict, the man they robbed of $160 million, has somehow found them, and they need to pay him back. Once again, it's still the jovial, tricky and crazy clever guys from Eleven, but you see a lot less of them. Bernie Mac spends maybe five minutes in the entire movie and the rest in jail, Don Cheadle has only a couple of scenes, and the movie keeps its focus on Pitt, Clooney, Damon, and Zeta-Jones.
The characters made Ocean's Eleven fun to watch. You knew they were going to succeed, but in Twelve, it's all about the twist, and there are a lot of twists.
And that's one of the reasons I enjoyed Twelve. While I walked out of the theater, the senior citizens complained about it being confusing, but that's one of Twelve's greatest strengths. It flows, explodes into chaos and then you realize there was no chaos and everything clicks.
So I say good job, Mr. Soderbergh, glad to see a good sequel. But, while Ocean's Twelve is a good movie, Eleven is greater than Twelve.
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