Movie Reviews: Ocean's 12




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Samantha Ofole-Prince

     Warner Bros. Pictures
     After robbing several million dollars from a casino, eleven thieves are forced to stage another heist to pay back the casino owner.
     George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Julia Roberts and Andy Garcia
Bottom Line:


Set three years after Ocean's Eleven, this sequel finds the formidable thieves scattered around the world complete with various aliases trying to live normal lives. From Chicago, Miami, Utah to London, it starts off very promising as we revisit each of the bandits who are enjoying the trappings of their previous heist. Danny Ocean (Clooney) is a retired high school basketball teacher – or so he claims, and Rusty (Pitt) is a businessman – he now owns a West Hollywood hotel, whilst Basher Tarr (Cheadle) runs a recording studio in England. Their covers are all soon rumbled when the ruthless Las Vegas casino kingpin Terry Benedict (Garcia) discovers they robbed his casino. He soon tracks them down individually and demands they return all the money they stole, plus a sizeable interest in two weeks, or face severe consequences - death. Too hot to handle in the US, they head to Europe to plan a heist with large enough profits to fulfill Benedict’s request.

Fans expecting another well executed, high adrenaline robbery will be hugely disappointed. What follows is a tardy, twisted and painfully overzealous storyline. Joining the cast this time around is Catherine Zeta-Jones who plays a beautiful European cop called Isabel Lahiri. The daughter of a master thief who was dumped by Rusty (Pitt) 3 and a half years earlier, she is always one step ahead of them. Adding, there is a new criminal in town – Night Fox (Vincent Cassel). He challenges Ocean to a rival thieving competition, thereby adding yet another twist to the proceedings. If successful, Fox claims he will pay back their debt to Benedict. What follows is an endless series of jumbled heists as they travel from Amsterdam to Rome. Things continuously go wrong for Ocean’s crew as their first heist is thwarted by Night Fox. Key members of the group are arrested and one ends up in the wrong city. Will they succeed to cleverly put together another exceptionally great heist, pay back Benedict and walk away with a profit? These are the questions you beg to be answered as sit through this ambiguous two-hour storyline.

What aids Ocean’s Twelve is that it ensures plenty of laughter. Clooney and Pitt’s light banter provides some decent chuckles, and Cheadle as the British demolition genius still manages to garner plenty of laughs. Funnyman Bernie Mac disappointingly has the least screen time as he spends most of the flick languishing in jail. Still, the humor alone is rather fetching and provides a decent distraction to the rigorously plotted and absurdly overcomplicated heist. The prequel Ocean’s Eleven was a remake of the 1960 version which stared Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin and just like the original, Ocean’s crew pull off the heist but walk away without a profit – setting the stage for a possible Ocean’s Thirteen.

Ocean’s Twelve is a far more ambitious movie than its prequel - an ambition that leads to its demise. It appears far too desperate to live up to its very successful predecessor and clearly shows that some sequels are better left alone.



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