Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ocean's Thirteen

I would like to consider myself a fan of this series, at least moreso than the average person is, given the popular reaction to the second film. However, I am noticing here a disturbing trend with the series, as all three films thus far have run along similar plotlines, the main difference being that each new venture feels the need to make the film that extra bit incomprehensible.

I don’t really have to describe to you the plot of this movie, which helps me out tremendously since I only have a vague understanding of what was going on in it. It’s another heist at a casino, just like in the first film, though this time instead of being for money, it’s for revenge, as scheming casino owner Al Pacino has screwed over Elliott Gould, giving him a heart attack in the process. Andy Garcia, the villain in the first film, and an antagonist in the second, has now been upgraded to a cautious ally, as they go to him for help in putting the screws to Pacino.

Again, how they go about doing this exactly, I was very unclear on, but it did admittedly look rather impressive as it was happening. The problem with this film is that it’s just too cluttered as it’s whizzing on by. With such a large cast, some character shorthand is expected, but at the very least you need a really impressive villain for the characters to be going up against. Sadly, Pacino is never really given enough face time to really show off how villainous he can be. I’m not expecting him to be Michael Corleone out there, but it would have been nice if director Steven Soderbergh had at least given him the chance to give us a villain as good as his role in The Devil’s Advocate. This is clearly a film that needed some extra time to slow down and learn what it and its characters are all about. Without that, we get a lot of flash and style, but we’re left with nothing to really remember once it’s done.

Rating: **

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