Letters to the Editor
Entertainment Review:Ocean's Twelve is a tsunami sized disaster
By Brad Barrett
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Media Credit: KRT
In a scene from the movie "Ocean´s Twelve," George Cloony, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt reprise their roles in the sequal to "Ocean´s Eleven."
I remember, years ago, when I first saw "Ocean's Eleven", that I was blown away. It was a beautifully shot ensemble piece that completely exceeded my expectations. Director Steven Soderburgh ("Sex, Lies, and Videotape", "Erin Brockovich", "Traffic") remade an unimportant Frank Sinatra film from 1960, and I certainly didn't expect it to be any good. I was completely wrong, of course. This was a slick heist film that totally blew away the original. It had plenty of eye candy, great characters, a brilliant robbery, and even a little romance (admittedly with the weak link of the cast, Julia Roberts) thrown in for good measure. I have watched it again and again.
Now let's move forward to the present day. Soderburgh's newest film, a sequel with the oh-so-clever title of "Ocean's Twelve". When I first heard that this was in the movie-making pipeline, I was pretty geeked. One of my favorite films of the last decade was getting a sequel with the same director, and even the exact same cast, plus (hubba hubba) Catherine Zeta Jones. I mean, of course my expectations were high. How could it miss?
Well, just sit back, and I'll tell you about the thousands of ways that it missed. For some reason, I did not have the chance to see this film in the theater, so I was eagerly awaiting its release on DVD. So, last Tuesday, when it was available to rent, I, at first opportunity, made my merry way to the video store, where I eagerly snatched it up and almost ran to the check out counter. I drove home at break neck speed (yet, somehow, I did not break my neck) and popped that little sucker into my DVD player. I sat down in eager anticipation, pushed play...and had my soul crushed by this miserable piece of dog crap.
The same cast was there. The same director with all of his cool tricks was there. Even the movie's score, by one of my favorite musicians, David Holmes, was intact. There were more exotic locales (goodbye Las Vegas, hello Amsterdam, and Spain) but...there was nothing there.
This is a film that fell in love with itself without any good reason to do so. It was a little too smug, a little too sure of itself. The problem is this: I don't care who's directing, who's acting, producing, etc., if the script is crap, the movie will be crap. Period. That is the fatal flaw of this film. Every set, every location, is beautifully shot, all of the actors (presumably) hit the mark, it's all in focus...but the script just doesn't carry the weight it should.
Sure there was lots of cleverness, a decent heist (although not in the same class as the first movie) but most of the characters disappeared, there was no tension at all, and it seemed like the people involved just wanted an excuse to go to Europe.
To whoever wrote this film, shame on you. To Soderburgh, what were you thinking? To all of the actors, you might want to cross this one off of your resume.
In short, this film was nice to look at, but horrible to watch, if you catch my drift. If any of you nice folks at home already own this DVD, hurry up and sell it, throw it away, just plain get rid of it. Because you might die, and somebody might find it. Just think of the untold embarrassment that will cause your family for generations yet to come.
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