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15:45 - 9 February 2005

The boys are back in town

Comic caper: The Ocean crew left to right, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and George Clooney
Comic caper: The Ocean crew left to right, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and George Clooney
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OCEAN’S TWELVE (12A, 125mins) *** Thriller/Comedy/Romance. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Elliott Gould, Carl Reiner, Vincent Cassel.

THREE years after Danny Ocean (Clooney) and card shark Rusty Ryan (Pitt) masterminded the daring heist of 160 million dollars from arrogant casino owner Terry Benedict (Garcia), the various members of the Ocean crew are struggling to turn legit.

Danny’s wife Tess (Roberts) hopes that she and Danny can lie low and start anew but their plans are ruined when Terry turns up at the door, with heavies in tow, demanding his money back – with interest – or else.

Reluctantly, Danny and Rusty reconvene the troops: master pickpocket Linus Caldwell (Damon), Cockney explosives expert Basher Tarr (Cheadle), eccentric security expert Reuben Tishkoff (Gould), veteran con artist Saul Bloom (Reiner), ever bickering drivers Virgil and Turk Malloy (Affleck, Caan), safecracker Frank Catton (Mac), surveillance expert Livingston Dell (Jemison), and Chinese acrobat Yen (Qin).

With just 12 days, Ocean and co head for Europe to steal a small fortune in priceless art and trinkets.

Ocean’s Twelve hangs together by the gossamer threads of George Nolfi’s screenplay, which trades plausibility for a series of lively set pieces and comic asides. Clooney and Pitt ply the same charm and charisma which fuelled the first film, and Zeta-Jones brings extra glamour to proceedings.

As with Ocean’s Eleven, there’s a final twist in the tale to ensure the crew comes up trumps – even if the film, in its freewheeling way, doesn’t always deal a winning hand.

DAMON SMITH

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