Ocean’s Twelve (2004) – Review

1 1/2 Stars

The gang’s all back, which is about the only positive thing to say for this over-blown self-important sequel. Three years after the events of the first film, pissed off casino owner Terry Benedict has found all the members of the gang that robbed him. In order to stay alive Ocean (Clooney) and his cohorts must come up with 97-million dollars in two weeks time. Deciding that the gang’s too hot to work in the states the crew head to Amsterdam, and tangle with a notorious European cat burglar nicknamed ‘the night fox’. If that moniker sounds underwhelming it’s appropriate because that term can be used to describe this whole affair.

The glamorous looking stars mostly sit around and give the impression that the production was a blast. Too bad none of that joy translated to audiences. This is a long slow slug through a confused plot, no disrespect to writer George Nolfi who was forced to turn his already completed script into an ‘Ocean’s’ event picture. The rivalry between Clooney and ‘the night fox’ (poorly portrayed by skilled actor Vincent Gallo) is uninteresting and the central heist is almost an afterthought; treated with no tension or suspense. The type of film that plays before your eyes while your brain wonders about groceries or parking meters.

Soderbergh’s fetish for European cinema is again on display here, blatantly referencing shots and montages pulled directly from vintage ‘new age’ motifs. They feel clunky and truthfully don’t belong in a caper film. Getting in on the action far more this time is Linus (Damon). His character is amusing and provides many of the films better moments, naively trying to climb the ranks within the gang. It’s Linus that induces the shenanigans of the third act, a horrifyingly out-of-place star cameo that is so miscalculated it stops the film dead. Worse than that it feels like a ‘cheat’. The whole experience has that feel.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon

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