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Monday, June 11, 2007

OCEAN'S THIRTEEN (2007) - Steven Soderbergh

Stephen Soderbergh occasionally takes a break from the ultra-serious in order to bring a film of pure entertainment to the cinema. Ocean's Thirteen, the third outing for Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his pals (Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, etc), sees the gang try to bring down the casino belonging to Willie Bank (Al Pacino). One of the original eleven, Reuben Tishkoff, has been royally screwed over by Bank, and it's up to the gang to hit him where it hurts- his pocket and his pride. Bank's latest casino is having it's gala opening. The new casino showcases the latest in technology, boasting a security system so sophisticated, it is deemed impenetrable. But as we've come to expect, challenges like that have never put off this gang of thieves, and they employ the usual array of gadgetry and cons in order to pull off their latest heist. However, this heist is going to cost them a pretty penny, so they employ the talents (and my talents, I mean cheque-book) of the old enemy, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) who has a vested interest in seeing Bank fail.

Well, there's not much that can be said about this film that isn't going to sound familiar. I must admit, I've never been a fan of this series. After a mediocre first film came a bloated, smug, self-important travesty of a sequel, so I went into this film not expecting very much. Which is probably the best way of approaching it. Just like the casino featured in the film, everything on screen is slick and glossy. Screenwriters Brian Koppelman and David Levien have learned from the mistakes made in Ocean's Twelve, and deliver a much tighter script, doing away with all the extraneous plot lines, and focusing immediately on the task at hand. Soderbergh's direction is perfectly fine. He delivers a film that oozes cool and glamour. Everyone from the previous films is back except for Julia Roberts. This is a film about the boys. And they all slot back into the roles they've become accustomed to with ease.

There's not much else that can be said for Ocean's Thirteen. It's pretty basic stuff, and not particularly groundbreaking. But I guess it's not supposed to be that way! Perfectly acceptable but nothing special.


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