Sunday, June 17, 2007

Review :: Ocean's Thirteen

Anyone and everyone is reviewing this film, so I'm going to keep this brief.

I've been having a hard time trying to come up with something to say about Ocean's Thirteen and I've concluded that there really isn't a whole lot that can be said. Ocean's Thirteen is rather uninspiring and dull third entry in an otherwise witty and clever franchise. While the film has its moments of cleverness and charm, it constantly feels as if it is banking on the reputation established by Eleven and Twelve.

This time around, Clooney & Co. find themselves once again planning a major casino heist in Las Vegas. It seems that one of their own (Elliott Gould) suffered a major heart-attack after being swindled by a ruthless hotel mogul (Al Pacino) and so, none too pleased about this, the gang decides to set things right, well-dressed-thieves style. Everything from the previous films is here: the quick and energetic cuts, the snapping dialogue, the obvious charm and charisma of the cast. Unfortunately, none of it ever seems to add up to much and the film just seems to lay flat on the screen, smirking at the audience rather self-referentially.

The problem with this film is the problem with almost all sequels, that they borrow too heavily upon the experience of the previous films. Soderbergh seems to be hoping that we'll forgive him for the film's lack of inspiration simply because we like the characters who, admittedly, are pretty cool. Soderbergh is great director; unfortunately, he seems to be slumming it a little with Thirteen. It feels as if he was going for the guaranteed money of a franchise sequel and just telephoned in a by-the-numbers, entirely derivative sequel. It is not as if Ocean's Thirteen is a bad film, it just fails to bring the same level of wit and fun as the two previous films did. Fans of the franchise will likely enjoy this sequel, if for no other reason than that the gang's all here (with the obvious exception of two female leads). In a summer of disappointing trilogies, Ocean's Thirteen continues the trend of failing to deliver. Here's hoping that The Bourne Ultimatum will not sully its franchise too later this summer.

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