"Ocean's Twelve" faces the same difficulties as any sequel. By this I don't mean those movies that are essential components to trilogies that continue the story; I mean those movies that basically take an established cast and throw them in a completely new storyline. The problem is trying to meet the expectations of an audience that loved the first and wants a new movie to love for all the same reasons. So many people were disappointed to learn that "Ocean's Twelve" was not yet another heist movie.
This film had to be a sequel. The plot takes advantage of the relationships the characters developed in the first film, and throws in many subtle jokes the average viewer may miss if they don't listen closely. Some of the phrases like "thief a la mode" used in the film may require a bit of culture to appreciate. While Ocean's teams do work together in the same fashion as the first film, the thievery itself doesn't take the spotlight in the film. "Ocean's Eleven" was the traditional heist film in its plot development with its climax at the point of executing the plan. Ocean's Twelve breaks away from this formula in favor of developing opportunities for some great character interaction.
The film disappoints with many characters taking a back seat in their roles to such an extent that the film could have been named after Pitt's character, with the Benedict aftermath merely serving as a catalyst for the characters finding their way back together. However, it would have been unreasonable for all eleven original characters to share an equal share of the spotlight and still turn out as well. The story is more about Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones than George Clooney and Julia Roberts. The rest of the cast perform very well and the guest-star appearances, including an unforgettable one by Bruce Willis, are hysterical. Half of the time I was unsure if the actors were even acting!! It appeared as if they were not even looking at the script, and instead talking amongst themselves like, "Hey, so how you've been?". "Oh, I `v been good, the kids at home are taking up a lot of my time, ya know". Come on now, really.
In the end, "Ocean's Twelve" is not a mere heist film but an Intelligent Comedy that may need to be watched more than once to appreciate some of the subtleties in the dialog. Just the amount of activity on this film's message board regarding some of the subtleties in the plot is a testament to the thought that went into making this film. Will "Ocean 13" rectify this, well I would have to go see it for myself.