REVIEW: Ocean’s 13 [2007]

“Are you watching Oprah?”

Many people I have heard from plain despised Ocean’s 12 when they saw it. They complained of its weak plot and unreal goofiness. However, I found it to be very entertaining despite all of that. What the first film had as far as intelligence and wit, the second had in cool and fun. Sure the story was far-fetched and convoluted, but I’d pay to see these guys having fun onscreen anytime. I don’t go to a film like this to be intellectually stimulated, I go to be entertained. What all this really boils down to is that I was looking forward to the third installment, appropriately named Ocean’s 13, to see where these characters would go. Steven Soderbergh does not disappoint and, in fact, creates a nice mix of the first two movies. We are given a smartly orchestrated heist along with the great one-liners and facial expressions that made the second such a good time. I may say it is the best of the three, but if not it is at least as good as the first.

Once again revenge is paramount. Our crew’s backer, wonderfully played by Elliot Gould per usual, has been double-crossed and bedridden by a heart attack as a result of another casino owner played by Al Pacino. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and their cohorts offer Pacino a peace offering, but once that is thrown in their faces, the movie starts hitting its stride. Stylistically you can’t argue about the structure used to show the viewers how the plan will work. While trying to speak about a problem that needs fixing to a friend, Clooney and Pitt go through how everything will go down while we are visually shown the progress in each. This maneuver is at first a tad distracting, but once you get used to it you find how effective it was in getting a whole lot of info out in a short amount of time. The rest of the film then just leaves the boys to make sure the job gets done. There are pitfalls and unforeseen alliances that come into play, and of course comedy follows them all.

As with the first two films, especially the second, we have a lot of characters that just cannot get ample screen time to really be effective. It is not as noticeable here, though, because they are oftentimes onscreen separately doing what they have to do rather than all together with only two of the group talking. Everyone gets a decent sized monologue or gimmick to show their stuff, and I’m sure all were satisfied as a result. You know these guys have to be having a ton of fun because with the sheer amount of talent involved, they can’t be making too much money. Now with the addition of Pacino, who plays himself again like most films he has done in the past couple decades; Ellen Barkin, a tad over the top, but then she was drugged for most of it; David Paymer, in a funny bit part/running joke; and Eddie Izzard, somewhat underused here; the multitude of characters can be a bit overwhelming.

Overall it all worked for me. The plot twists are never too out there that you shake your head, many times you actually smile thinking that that was how it would be anyways. The filmmakers don’t go out to confuse you, they just tell it how it has to happen and let the pieces fall into place. All the acting ends up being real good, maybe due in part to everyone having shortened time to not risk screwing up. My favorite is still the sarcastic banter and education void between Casey Affleck and Scott Caan. These two really have a great rapport with each other and every line out of their mouths is hilarious. Just watching them running through the halls of the casino when they have multiple tasks to accomplish made me laugh out loud.

Ocean’s 13 7/10 | ★ ★ ★

[1] (L-R) MATT DAMON stars as Linus Caldwell, GEORGE CLOONEY stars as Danny Ocean and BRAD PITT stars as Rusty Ryan in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ action adventure “Ocean’s Thirteen,” distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon
[2] Ellen Barkin, Al Pacino and Noureen DeWulf in Steven Soderbergh drama thriller’s Ocean’s Thirteen. Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.