Reviewed by: Taran Gingery
|Featuring:||George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ellen Barkin, Al Pacino, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Elliott Gould, Shaobo Qin, Don Cheadle, Eddie Jemison, Andy Garcia, Scott L. Schwartz, Carl Reiner, Michael Harney, James Martin Kelly, James DuMont, Noureen DeWulf|
|Producer:||Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney, Susan Ekins|
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
“Revenge is a funny thing.”
Nothing has ever captured the imaginations of audiences than the execution of seemingly impossible tasks such as breaking into impenetrable places and making off with things that are heavily guarded. The “Mission: Impossible” series tapped into that imagination, but at least those series had heroes worth rooting for. The series following Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and friends, however, are an entirely different matter.
The group of people known as “Ocean’s Eleven” has only ever been about thievery, trickery, revenge and in the end, making off with a pretty good fortune. “Ocean’s Thirteen” only changes the routine a little bit. This time, Reuben (Elliott Gould) is double-crossed by a ruthless hotel owner in Las Vegas, Willy Bank (Al Pacino) and winds up in the hospital as a result. Ocean and the others decide that this sort of thing is not right and decide to get back at Bank for Reuben’s sake by bringing Bank’s new hotel down around his ears, metaphorically, on the night of it’s grand opening.
Now, I enjoyed the first film for its quirky sense of humor and its execution, while understanding that its heroes were not the kind to be emulated, but I found “Ocean’s Twelve” to be boring and confusing. “Ocean’s Thirteen” is neither. In fact, I enjoyed it more than the first film. It is exceedingly clever, extremely high-tech, at times very funny and never boring. The acting is excellent. Clooney and right-hand man Brad Pitt steal the show, especially in scenes involving Oprah Winfrey, but all of the other actors, including Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia, and Bernie Mac, all have their moments of brilliance. Pacino rounds out the cast with another excellent performance.
Morally, however, there is little to commend, although I can say that if you found nothing wrong with the first two, you won’t find much wrong with the third. The main characters are all thieves and liars, but they are very loyal to one another and often display true friendship, especially towards Reuben. They want to see their friend avenged for the wrong done to him, and the means by which they achieve this is far from honorable.
Language is problematic, with at least 10 s-words uttered and some misuse of the Lord’s name. Matt Damon’s character uses some chemical to seduce Bank’s assistant (Ellen Barkin), resulting in just-concealed breast nudity, mild groping and innuendoes, that eventually come to nothing. Several other female characters wear cleavage-revealing attire. Violence is minimal, with one man pulling, but not using, a gun and another man being briefly beat up in a casino. Speaking of casinos, the film does take place in Vegas, so the majority of the film does involve gambling, slot machines, card games, alcohol, and smoking.
All this added on to the general theme of revenge and criminal activity being one and the same make this film not one for young, undiscerning minds, but for those teens and adults who saw and enjoyed the first two while understanding the moral flaws being the reasoning of the main characters, “Ocean’s Thirteen” is a must see. For me, half the fun of the movie was watching the execution of the great heist, but the other half was the preparations leading up to it, and both of those were well worth it.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
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