I am a huge fan of Ocean's 11... in fact huge doesn't really describe it. You know how everyone has one of those films they can put on and watch until hell freezes over? Well, the first Ocean's film is mine. The second however... was fairly abysmal. Not even the theatrical Eddie Izzard could save such a poor plot (can we say crossing the reality boundaries, anyone). So, naturally I was a little sceptical about a third outing with Clooney & Co.
However, from the first five minutes when Danny & Rusty converse over the absence of Julia Roberts & Catherine Zeta-Jones, I let out an elongated sigh of relief. That was two reasons for the film to improve already. The third being the premise for the movie, or the motivation I should say. Beloved Rueben (Elliot Gould) has his health compromised after being stitched up by new Ocean's addition Al Pacino. Clooney of course doesn't take to this news very well, and decides its payback time. This idea make the film a lot more heart-felt... this time... its personal rather than the glory of a ridiculous heist.
The familiar setting of Vegas brings the magic of the first film back to life. Its a reflection of just how smooth and outrageous the characters are, and this time they have all upped their game. Clooney & Pitt's bantar is as flawless as ever, far more lucid than the forced dialogue in the second. Damon also plays a more prominant role, his character of Linus has become his very own, and has grown since the first two outings. You still get a sense of inexperience with his character, but that just sets up more witty conversation pieces. Virgil & Turk however steal a great deal of the comedy in this film. Their sub-plot of Mexican labour is genius, whilst at the same time being a vital part to the story. The other characters pull their weight to match the bigger players, Carl Reiner again making an effortless performance as the many faces of Saul.
The plot is thick & fast, just like the first movie. Blink, and all of a sudden you will miss something that will make you say later, "well how did they pull that off then?" or "Hang on, who's that?" Believe me when I say, you need to pay attention to get the full picture. Couple this with a fantastically ice cool soundtrack (God bless you David Holmes), and confident direction & cinematography from Soderbergh and hey presto... another heist film thats as smart as Yoda & cool as a polar bear ice lolly. This is the sequel we've been waiting for, in fact I've been tempted to take the front cover of the dvd, photoshop it to read Ocean's Twelve, and forget that other one they did. A great, fulfilling movie... not quite five stars because I suppose the some of the tricks involved in the heist do question belief... but then hey, its only a film.
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