Ocean’s Twelve


Disappointingly, Ocean’s Twelve is very, very bad. Not only does it fail to capture the imagination in the way its predecessor did, it degenerates at times into a directionless love-in. That’s right, even though I didn’t even like Ocean’s Eleven that much, it did grow on me. The charm, the ‘smirkiness’, the heist – all put together produced a smile and some fun. Twelve not only didn’t make me smile, it made me angry at times.

How did Soderbergh think this was adequate? Was he even there when they cut this? There is so much wasted exposition, and bloated ‘twists’, that this film is at least 30 minutes longer than it should have been. At least if it had been that length, the material may have justified it. So much time was spent on little asides, and ‘wink, wink, nudge, nudge’ among the writers, that the pacing of the film was completely ignored.

Pitt & Zeta-JonesMuch of this extraneous material could have been safely cut. Bruce Willis and Julia Roberts as themselves?? Give it a rest. Did you really think I’d sit here and say how clever you were for making Roberts play both herself and Tess Ocean? Was that supposed to be a clever comic twist? Hmmm…

When the plot was actually considered, there were some nice touches. I disagree with much of the criticism of Zeta-Jones – I felt she was adequate in a limited role. Garcia, almost the best thing about Eleven for his smarminess, was MIA, but the new opponent brought in for Clooney’s Ocean to best, Vincent Cassel, was excellent. Far superior to any of his English-language colleagues, he was the one shining light.

Whatever possessed Soderbergh to film the actors get together at the end? This section felt like I was reading someone’s diary, or was at the after-party for a play I wasn’t involved with. Sure, after-parties are nice, but they’re for people in the production only, or at best they could make a fun DVD special feature. This was gratuitous and completely misguided.

There is also way too much of ‘look how clever we are’ about Ocean’s Twelve. Yes, the audience didn’t see that coming. No, that’s not because you’re smarter, it’s because the audience aren’t privy to certain information that you are. Is that really what you think a ‘twist’ is? No information revealed leading to the audience failing to understand? The really clever directors allow just enough information to be available, such that when the twist is revealed we realise it was all there all along. Like The Sixth Sense.

Much of Ocean’s Twelve was a waste of my time, and the rest was a shameless act of mutual masturbation among the cast and crew.

Rating: 1.5 stars
Review by Mark Lavercombe, 9th December 2004
Hoopla Factor: 1.5 stars

Napoleon Dynamite Blade: Trinity