Ocean's Twelve


Year 2004

Arrogantly Strutting

George Clooney as  Danny Ocean
Brad Pitt as Rusty Ryan
Matt Damon as Linus Caldwell
Catherine Zeta-Jones   as Isabel Lahiri  
Andy Garcia as Terry Benedict
Don Cheadle as Basher Tarr
Bernie Mac as Frank Catton
Julia Roberts as Tess Ocean
Casey Affleck as  Virgil Malloy
Scott Caan as Turk Malloy
Carl Reiner as Saul Bloom
Elliott Gould   as Reuben Tishkoff  
Robbie Coltrane as Matsui
Eddie Izzard as Roman Nagel
Albert Finney as Gaspar La Marque  
Topher Grace as Himself
 
Director - Steven Soderbergh  
Screenwriter - George Nolfi

 

 


I rented the DVD for this one. The first forty-five minutes of this film are wasted on a throw away plot meaning that if you got rid of the first forty-five minutes of the movie, the rest of the movie would be unaffected. Silly things are done that have no effect except to show the audience how cool the cast members are. Just ask them, they'll tell you. Or watch them, they'll show you.

Then, finally, the real heist comes up. The object to be stolen is being transferred from location A and taken to location B where it will be put on display. Everyone is told, "It's impossible to steal this gadget once it's on display," or words to that effect. (Did anyone not get the "twist" at this point?) Then, the next hour of so of the movie is more self-indulgence.

After the first forty-five minutes, I quit watching. Oh, I let the movie continue to play and I checked in on it occasionally. Even though I knew better, I hoped that maybe there really would be a twist. Nope. Just iteration after iteration of cookie cutter nonsense.

Questions with "Yes" Answers:

#2 What kind of fictional world is this anyway? Let's set the rules. This is a movie. In this movie, there are the characters like Danny and Tess Ocean. In the real world there is no casino robbing couple named Danny and Tess Ocean. Conversely, in the real world there is a George Clooney and a Julia Roberts. Never the twain shall meet. (Especially if the twains are coming at each other head on.)

You see, the movie kisses its own butt by having Julia Roberts play Tess Ocean and then having Tess Ocean attempt to impersonate Julia Roberts. Talk about pandering. Talk about gall.(Perhaps we'll talk some other time.)

Since I don't care about these people in real life, why should I care about how smarmy they can be on-screen playing what they believe to be a tongue-in-cheek plot device to show the audience how superior they are? This adds nothing to the movie. In fact, nothing having to do with the failed heist adds anything to the movie. I felt no suspense, only embarrassment for the "actors" and "actresses".

#4 Oh yeah, the dialogue is really atrocious. It's as if Soderbergh thought he could be Robert Altman. I'll bet he thought, "These people are so cool and there's such great chemistry, I could just let them ad-lib and use that instead of a script." Bad decision. "Great chemistry" creates plastics and nitroglycerin, not great movies. Lines like, "Ted Nugent called and wants his shirt back" worked in Ocean's Eleven;. Talking for minutes on end about how George Clooney sort of looks fifty is dull and adds up to nothing except more of the audience's time being wasted without a payoff.

#5 There are a number of gaffes. The most obvious is the basic premise of the movie (and I don't mean the premise of milking the cash cow dry). In the first movie, everybody got away with the heist. Yay! Movie months later when Danny Ocean is released from prison, everybody still got away with the heist. Yay! If they hadn't, then Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) would have had them killed. Boo? Now, for some unconvincing reason they've been found out. Uh-huh. And, they have to steal again! Oh, no! In Europe no less. Huh? So, the happy ending in Ocean's Eleven has been negated due to everyone's having had a lobotomy.

(I remember the movie Misery where Kathy Bates orders James Caan to bring back one her characters that he'd killed off. "And it better be convincing. None of this 'she was sleeping' crap!" or words to that effect. Oceans Twelve didn't even go to the "she was sleeping" extent for a plausible reason why the crew didn't get away with the first heist.)

Within the "plot" of the movie, before they come up with the idea of a really big heist, the group tries some smaller ones. There is one that has them spending a million dollars to get a cheap trinket worth about tree-fitty. (Hyperbole on my part is allowed provided I plead guilty to the charge. I plead, "Guilty as charged".)

But, this cracker jack team is beaten to the punch. Suddenly the impregnable fortress that they spent months trying to enter with outlandish methods is suddenly open to the public. At least it seems that way with everyone gallivanting (I had to use the word) around a building that, up until that point, had been more tightly sealed than JFK's killer's lips. An explanation as to how the other guys got to the object immediately before Ocean's crew got inside is a head hammering coincidence. (Bang me again with that coincidence mallet, will you?)

#6 If you can't steal a gizmo once it's on display, when do you steal it? And if you can figure out the answer to that question, which is as obvious as a grey elephant on a white carpet, then the whole second half of the movie is useless.

Even worse than watching the nonsense about the people pretending to be imitating themselves is their arrest. (Oh, no!) They'll never get out of jail! They'll be removed from society for good! (We can only hope and maybe there won't be an Ocean's Thirteen. There is? Then this was a spoiler?)

But thanks to Linus Caldwell's (Matt Damon's) movie parents, they do get out of jail. Oh, joy! When all else fails, give mom and dad a call. They'll cut through any European government's red tape and have you on your way in a jiffy. Actually, this was the only decent part of the movie and I still felt like I was being hammered with the mallet.

#7 Milk that cash cow franchise! Obviously the only reason that the movie was filmed in Europe was because the cast wanted to tour Europe on our, that is the audience's, dime. It's sure not for our benefit because not a lot of Europe is shown in the movie. We don't vicariously get to experience Paris nightlife or Spanish architecture or Viennese waltzes in castles. Nah. Nearly everything is in dingy hotel rooms and alleys. Once in a while, there's a nice mansion or a museum or a train station. But, most of the scenery is pretty generic.

I received the DVD as a gift for my birthday. I requested that it be returned, unopened, for something else. I think it went towards "Season 3 of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends". I came out way ahead on the exchange. There was less contrivance and more tongue-in-cheek in the cartoons.


All the Nasty Movies, where do they all come from? Or the main movie list.