Take a classic movie and remake it with a host of todayís Hollywood stars: great idea. Take those same stars and try and write a sequel: not so great after all.
Under the direction of Steven Soderbergh, Danny Oceanís gang are back. In case you didnít know, thatís George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, and all those other loveable rogues from Oceanís Eleven. But this time they are joined by Catherine Zeta Jones, who plays detective Isabel Lahiri, and Rusty Ryanís (Pitt) ex-girlfriend. Casino owner Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) has tracked down Oceanís (Clooney) team and wants his money back, with interest, three years after they robbed him of every last dime he had in his inpenetrable vault in Las Vegas. Benedict gives the team two weeks to get back the money they owe him, taking them away from the USA, where they are too well known to work.
Benedict is not the only one after the team. FranÁois Ďbest thief in the worldí Toulour (Vincent Cassel) is outraged that he might be considered inferior to Ocean, and his pride forces him to offer his rival a challenge: Toulour will race the team to steal a Fabergť egg from an Italian museum.
The heist is far from successful however, leaving all of Oceanís team behind bars, but after cheating their way out of prison, the gang seem resigned to a life of hiding from Benedict. Of course, it seems highly unlikely that there will be some far fetched twist which sees the gang live happily ever after. That would just make the rest of the plot rather senseless, and so render the whole film ridiculous.
But here is where the problems start with Oceanís Twelve. The action is unexciting, and the twist at the end leaves you feeling cheated and frustrated. Most disappointing is George Nolfiís humourless script: each joke seems flatter than the previous one, and the only real chuckle comes from seeing Julia Robertsí character Tess imitiating Julia Roberts. It may sound brainless, but you canít help but laugh as Linus Caldwell (Damon) briefs Tess on Robertsí likes and dislikes. The acting isnít weak, but the nature of the script doesnít really lend itself to Oscar nominations. The main stars give exactly what it is expected of them: they smile lots, look horribly good looking, and are convincing in their characterless roles.
Despite its obvious flaws, there is nonetheless something quite comforting about watching this film, mainly the sheer quantity of famous faces. Watching Oceanís Twelve takes little concentration, and knowing that everything is going to be ok in the end can do nothing but warm the cockles of your heart. As lovely an idea as this was, we can only hope and pray that plans for Oceanís Thirteen donít arise any time soon.
By Alex Kay
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