By Dan Bradley on April 05, 2005
| TMR Official Review|
DVD Score: 7.0
|Movie|| || || ||7.0|
|Audio|| || || ||7.0|
|Video|| || || ||8.0|
|Extras|| || || ||1.5|
|Replay|| || || ||6.5|
Oceanís Eleven was a member of the rare breed of comedic caper that managed to be entertaining without crossing the line between plausibility and disbelief. Its unnecessary sequel not only crosses the line, it ties itself to a pole to ensure a trip with no return.
Oceanís Twelve picks up roughly three years after the events of Eleven with Danny and Tess Ocean (George Clooney and Julia Roberts) attempting to create a new suburban lifestyle devoid of the criminal life they think theyíve left far behind. Before they can really settle in revengeful casino owner Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) tracks down not only them but the entire Oceanís gang down, swearing a swift death for them all unless he is repaid what they took from him plus interest Ė a cool 198 million dollars Ė in exactly two weeks. Unable to work again stateside due to their exposure, the gang heads to Amsterdam where Rustyís (Brad Pitt) former flame detective Lahiri (a hot looking Catherine Zeta-Jones looking less than her actual age) is on their trail and an European thief called the Nightfox cleverly beats them to every job, leaving a taunting note behind proclaiming his superiority.
Sodenberghís first Ocean film benefited from a fairly streamlined script and a simple goal for the gang: rob the casino vault. This time around he takes an already jumbled script and contorts it even more, playing with time and locations to create a disjointed absolute mess of a story that never finds a point or an ultimate payoff. This misery is compounded by one laughable stunt after another then topped off with a silly self-parody better left for a comic book.
At least Matt Damon, seldom seen Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle, and the rest of the crew appeared to have a ball reuniting to shoot this film. Their camaraderie lends a good laugh to scenes such as one where young Linus (Damon) attempts to figure out the riddles veterans Rusty, Danny, and Matsui (Robbie Coltrane) are saying to each other. Thatís great for them, but for us it translates to a small handful of smiles and a long drawn out trip to a place not worth visiting.
| Things to Look For|
Most of the Dolby Digital 5.1 track is relegated to speech and front channel action. A few heist scenes pump up the soundtrack and take better use of LFE and surrounds, but on a whole this is a fairly ho-hum mix Ė as it was intended to be.
Visually the anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 transfer performs a level above the audio. Some scenes appear a touch grainy and/or soft though I canít say for sure whether this is a transfer issue or the directorís choice. Judging by the volume of extra material available I tend to lean towards the former.
Only a scant theatrical trailer is provided. Given the fairly high profile visibility of this release Iím shocked not a single featurette is to be found. That said, I tend to believe a special edition is a foregone conclusion for sooner rather than later.
Oceanís Twelve is merely a shadow of its predecessor. Itís reliance on star power backfires against one preposterously scripted scene after another. With no supporting material available to even help explain some of the creative directions chosen, this is a weak rental for curious fans of the original only.