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Ocean’s Twelve

February 8, 2005

I saw this with a group of friends at a Matinee. For the most part, I got my five bucks worth.

While the movie opens well and quickly reintroduces you to the characters you left at the end of Ocean’s Eleven, the movie bogs down halfway through with confusing storytelling and questionable plot choices.

The first forty-five minutes had me thinking they had struck gold again. Clooney, Pitt, and etc. were their same cool as ice selves, with funny lines and nice outfits. The problem comes when the movie breaks the formula of the first to pieces. Instead of one, or a series of, heists involving careful planning and execution, the movie slaps the characters down after their first attempted thievery. Bernie Mac obviously had other commitments during the filming of this picture, because his character (one of the best in the first film) has very few lines and ends up off camera for most of the film. Carl Reiner is similarly missing from much of the film, and when he shows up as part of the ill-concieved plot manipulation it flies in the face of reason.

The most annoying storytelling decision perpetrated by the writers is something that worked very well in the first film. In Ocean’s Eleven the story doubled back on itself to reveal what really happened during the heist, so that the first time through we had the antagonist’s view of events and at the end the protagonists view.

When they attempt to do the same in Ocean’s Twelve the story doubles back to show us things that we had no idea even happened, thus making us more disinterested onlookers than amused co-conspirators. In truth, it reminded me of some of the more poorly written “Murder, She Wrote” episodes where Jessica Fletcher spells the whole plot out in the last five minutes.

A big budget netted great location shooting, nice outfits, and a returning cast of talented actors in memorable roles. This one got booched, pure and simple, because of a mediocre plot and direction. Worth the price of a rental, maybe, but save your money at the theatre.

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