Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ocean's Thirteen - mini-review

Mr. Mouse and I are hugenormous Ocean's Eleven (the G. Clooney version) fans. I think we actually may have first seen it in the theater (shocking!), and between owning the DVD and seeing it on cable, it would probably not be an exaggeration to say we've seen the movie twenty times. Ocean's Twelve we saw once. Suffice it to say that we put Ocean's Thirteen into our DVD player with some trepidation, worried about the whole "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" potentiality.

We needn't have worried. While Thirteen does not attain the lofty heights of Eleven, it sure beats the hell out of its immediate predecessor. For one, they're back in Vegas. (Mr. Mouse and I love Las Vegas for some strange reason. It's gaudy, crowded and completely unnatural - all things that we do not like - and yet we love it. Maybe it's being able to have bloody marys 'round the clock, I don't know. But I digress.) The Ocean gang belongs in Las Vegas and, in Thirteen, they look comfortable again. Their buddy Reuben has been swindled by Al Pacino's weaslley and uber-rich casino owner, Willy Banks, and Danny Ocean and the boys come home to avenge their friend. The plot doesn't really matter. It's overly complicated and completely outrageous. The point is that the guys are all working together again for a common goal: knocking over another casino.

Another good thing is they've completely gotten rid of Julia Roberts this go-round. At the very beginning of the movie, Rusty (Brad Pitt) asks Danny if Tess (Julia Roberts) and Isabelle (Catherine Zeta-Jones) are coming. Danny says, "This isn't their fight." And with one fell swoop, they've dispensed with the balls-and-chains. The token woman, Pacino's casino manager, is played by Ellen Barkin and damn, she is foine in this movie, simply steaming up the screen whenever she's on it.

Like Eleven, the more you see Ocean's Thirteen the more you'll pick up - the jokes and the references, both the straight ones and the meta ones, fly by very quickly. In the long run, I don't think this third (and final?) installment of the Ocean's stories is as quite as charming as the first one, but it's still entertaining and full of pretty people having a lot of fun together.

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