Ocean’s Twelve…Times Too Full of Itself

Wow! So busy this past month. Well, I’ve got a lot to write about and many of those subjects deserve more time than I have now, so I’ll just start off with this look at a flick Alisa and I rented.

Watching Ocean’s Twelve was like watching the second Matrix film. The unique feel and focus of the original, the very things that made it great, are eschewed for what seems like one-upmanship on every front. Ocean’s Eleven is a brilliant work of subtle, sly wit and grace. Ocean’s Twelve just trips on its own overly twisting and turning plot, largely because it also tries to be too clever and absract in the telling. On top of that, Soderbergh doesn’t seem to realize that we all don’t really get it or connect with it, so his nudge, nudge, wink, wink treatment that worked so superbly in the first film falls flat. Very flat.

The film works best when it gets back to the basics of the original, which it rarely does, and focuses on developing the interactions of the characters and one well-developed heist. Otherwise, you get the sense that they skipped every third line of the script in an attempt to add quirk and film three movies at the same time. Many of the individual tricks and conceits probably would’ve made a great focused movie on their own, but together it’s just a mess. Caper films work when the audience feels like part of the team, not like the hapless detective or uptight owner of the stolen treasure.

Don’t bother with this one and just watch Ocean’s Eleven again instead.