Monday, June 18, 2007

Ocean's Thirteen: Movie Review

It's hard to say for sure what my expectations were before I saw this movie. On the one hand, Ocean's Eleven got so many things right. On the other hand, while still a strong movie, Ocean's Twelve got so many things wrong. Ocean's Eleven did three things very well; It told a hiest story, a revenge story and a love story perfectly. Everything fit into place well.

Ocean's Twelve tried to do all those things, but failed to do so cohesively, and it took longer to get there. Plus, there were certain things added in that didn't have any purpose other than to be annoying (the meta scene involving Julia Roberts playing a character playing a character, I'm looking at you!). The only plus side was Eddie Izzard.
This time around, Soderburgh and crew went back to the basics and decided to do one element completely right, nailing down the revenge story, which with the addition of Al Pacino as the anti-hero was easy to do. It does so with such aplumb that its easy to watch.
It might be easy for the character's personality traits to get lost in the story, as I felt they were before in Ocean's Twelve. This time around, their quirks aren't hidden but brought to light in interesting ways. Warning! Spoiler Alert for those who haven't seen the movie yet. Casey Affleck's character sent to Mexico to cover an angle in a plastics factory only to start a labor strike? Awesome! Scott Caan's character sent down to call it off only to throw a malotav cocktail at the police? Even more awesome.

On top of getting the character we know and love right, there were some interesting inclusions/additions that made me squeal like a twelve year-old. Bruiser, who happens to be one of my favorite parts of Ocean's Eleven, showing up in a cameo? Totally Awesome. Getting all some of my favorite character actors to just start showing up all over the place? David Paymer? Eddie Izzard? Brilliantly awesome. But the awesomest part of all? The part I'm still not quite over yet? Super Spoiler Alert: Super Dave is Matt Damon's father. Super Dave. Is Matt Damon's father. That is the most classic piece of stunt casting I have ever seen in my life. I want to live in a universe in which that is actually true. I want to bask in the brilliance of that universe. In fact, I want it put in Matt Damon's contract that every movie he makes from now on involves Super Dave playing his father from now on. Sure, the novelty might wear off after awhile, but by then I'll be in a wheel chair, putting my teeth in a glass of water. That's how awesome that is. It didn't matter that I called it three-quarters of the way through the movie. At some point I leaned over and whispered in Fighting Nun's ear. "Super Dave! Is Matt Damon's! Father!" And when it turned out to be true??? Even that more satisfying. Thus Endeth the Super Spoiler alert.
Although I would say, I did miss to some small extent the inclusion of Julia Roberts, and her character Tess, I think the movie was better without her in it, than it would be if she had played some roll in it. Double ditto as far as Catherine Zeta Jones is concerned.
So yeah, it doesn't do all the things Ocean's Eleven did, but what it does, it does well. A- all the way.

No comments: