Ocean’s 12


Sequels are so much easier to deal with as a movie-goer than normal movies. They add another useful question to the usual screening list one can use. Consider these:

  • Did you like Ocean’s 11?
  • Do you like Brad Pitt?
  • Do you like George Clooney?
  • Do you like Matt Damon?
  • Have you, at any point,[ftn] liked Catherine Zeta Jones?
  • Do you like Steven Soderbergh’s style?
  • Do you like meta-textual jokes?

Now, if you answered “No” to any of those questions, this film might not be for you. But if not, this movie is great fun. Personally, I find Brad Pitt a very cool guy. I know there are some people out there irritated, but frankly, if I woke up one day as Brad Pitt I really wouldn’t mind at all. He has an excellent dry delivery for all manner of irony, which I envy terribly. He and Clooney have an excellent chemistry, always coming across as good friends. With both of them on the screen at the same time, it’s almost an overload of cool.

Luckily, there’s also Matt Damon’s rather nerdier Linus, who is possibly the best character in the film. He asks for a “more central role” this time, and gets it. His awkward attempts to be as cool as his two comrades — and pathetic sucking up to them — are great fun to watch. And then there’s Miss Zeta Jones, who is sexier than I’ve seen her since The Mask of Zorro. And with an excellent character to boot — by equal measures canny and innocent. The rest of the eleven… well, they don’t really get much to do, which is a bit of a shame.

The film starts off with Andy Garcia’s villainous Terry Benedict threatening each of the eleven menacingly (but with a shade of impotence, as all villains who have previously had their arses handed to them inevitably acquire). The group are forced to run off to find themselves some quick cash. But as they seek the best jobs they can find, someone is watching their every move, and manipulating them…

It sounds intriguing, does it not? Well, it is. The movie is funny, slick, entertaining and sexy. There’s great dialogue, there’s some good introductory thieving, and there’s hint after hint of something clever and cool going on in the background. What’s Ocean’s cunning plan going to be this time, the audience is thinking to themselves. And grinning in anticipation. “I can’t wait for the big heist,” they’re saying, and rubbing their hands with glee. “There’s twelve of them this time, they’re going to do something really clever.” But there’s something I have to tell you. I don’t normally give spoilers when reviewing films, but this one’s important. You really don’t want to go into the film not knowing this.

But it’s your choice.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Then I’ll begin.

THERE IS NO HEIST. The twist involves eleven people causing a distraction and stealing something from one guy. That’s what it all builds up to. The majority of the film is no set-up to anything. The good guys don’t actually turn out to have done anything clever — they just had better information.

I’m not saying the film isn’t great fun. It is. But if you’re expecting a heist movie, cast those assumptions aside. Focus on the romance, and the funny dialogue. Ignore the stupid frenchman and his lame breakdancing. Enjoy the ride. Even with the benefit of time, I still think having a sequel to Ocean’s 11 and not including any clever twist or heist is a big mistake, but clearly that wasn’t what they wanted. It’s possible it’s all some big joke that I don’t get. If this is the case, someone should explain it to me post-haste.


  1. That is, before her icky marriage to Michael Douglas. Ew.

Comments are closed.