'Ocean's 12', a waste of star power:
Film: "Ocean's 12"; Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Julia Roberts, Eliott Gould, Bruce Willis; Directed by: Steven Soderberg.
In 2004 Hollywood churned out expensive and futile ensemble star-studded pieces that served no other purpose except to remind us of how pointlessly extravagant the West could be if it sets its mind on a vulgar display of talent and resources.
Steven Soderberg, who made one of this millennium's finest film "Traffic", seems to have decided to make a fool of himself just for the heck of it. Of course the paycheck helps. And when you have the clout to bring together so many charismatic stars in one clasp of unalloyed gasp, the zeroes on the cheque get really gross.
As I sat through the sequel to one of the worst films I had seen in 2003 two thoughts crossed my mind: Why did they ever bother to continue a saga as soggy as finger chips dipped in ketchup for too long? And why is the audience actually watching some of Hollywood's best talents make monkeys of themselves?
And never mind if all you're finally left with is the zeroes. Soderberg clearly goes overboard with his opulent overtures at enticing audiences in with star names.
He misuses almost each one of them, making them indulge in what can at best be termed an exercise in shallow and showy self indulgence. George Clooney is still Danny Ocean. Julia Roberts is still his estranged wife. Brad Pitt is still Clooney's partner Rusty and the movie is...still!
In spite of the attempts to infuse energetic activity into the plot there's an eerie stillness at the heart. The film is shot in that urgent documentary style that made Soderberg's "Traffic" such a crackling chronicle of contemporary convictions. "Ocean's 12" just meanders half-heartedly through the stars' luxurious life. The characters skim the surface of the plot without making any effort to get into the thick of things.
And what a plot?! Andy Garcia plays the suave crime lord who wants his money back from Ocean and gang. Heist plans are hastily devised and implemented across exotic cities where the charismatic stars pose like gladiators for a calendar. The film's high point is Tess Ocean played by Julia Roberts posing as actress Julia Roberts to carry out an audacious caper. Ms Roberts' pregnancy is also written into the humour.
Bruce Willis joins her as himself to make some pointed Julia Roberts jokes that at least elicit a few mild titters from us. The rest of the film doesn't evoke any emotion except ennui and annoyance.
If you're a Julia Roberts fan watch her in Soderberg's "Erin Brockovich" instead. If you dig Geoge Clooney and Brad Pitt then watch them in this film do their sozzled sequence together while watching television on the night before their great heist.
They look like two extremely popular stars waiting for the next move, wondering why they're where there are. Ditto the audience.
Indo-Asian News Service
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