Film Review: Ocean’s Twelve

There are many ways to describe Ocean’s Twelve. The three that jump out to me are: the obvious and clichéd “difficult second album”. The more cynical “pure money grabbing” and then finally, the harsh but annoyingly fair “pointless”. Ocean’s Twelve sees everybody’s favourite bank robbing Hollywood A-List reunited. And as always when you’re making a sequel to a film purely because the first film was so successful you want to cash in, you send them on holiday!

So it’s off to Amsterdam, or is it Rome, or is it Paris. I get confused. It’s Europe and the Arsenal football team are there. I know not why.

I am struggling with this review. Ocean’s Twelve is poor, it’s really poor. But it’s also enjoyable. It’s problem is that it knows it’s not the first movie, and that it cannot live up to what the first movie achieved and it accepts it, it doesn’t apologise for existing but it has a real sense of simply being in existence so we can spend more time with Danny, Rusty, Linus etc. than giving us any sort of serious film.

And that’s it’s problem. It’s not a serious film. The plot is just silly. Quite often, you get a sense with sequels, especially those created more out of the success of their predecessor and a want to cash in that they are rushed. Ocean’s Twelve doesn’t suffer this. The plot doesn’t feel rushed. It feels nonexistent.

The first movie was a bit boys night out having fun, but it had a sense of seriousness to it. Performances might have ticked along, but the story gripped you. You wanted to be part of the gang, you slightly believed what they were doing was actually possible. Ocean’s Twelve has lost all of this.

For most of the film you are never actually sure what’s going on. Nothing is ever really explained, they just jump from scene to scene, quickly shifting around Europe never stopping to take breath or let you fully take in what the heck is going on or why. The “gang” suffers because it’s only Danny, Rusty and Linus, or Clooney, Pitt and Damon that ever really feel like they are getting screen time which means you never feel fully involved with the film.

However, that’s only the start of the film’s problems. Firstly, you constantly know that everything is a set up. Everything is a play. But because it’s so disjointed and you are kept so far away from it, you can never see the play. You never feel part of it. You know they are up to something. That it’s all part of a bigger picture in which they will obviously, come out smelling of roses, but as you watch it, it feels more like the plot and the play was made up as they went along with everyone chipping in ideas than having any idea whether the heist, and therefore, the film were going from the start.

And then secondly, you reach the biggest problem this film has. It breaks one of the most simple film making rules. It blurs real life and the life it creates. It jumps the shark as they say. Never, ever, ever, invoke a twist where you compare an actress playing a character to the real life actress. Julia Roberts looks like Julia Roberts because she is Julia Roberts. Don’t use that as a plot point. She’s playing the character Tess. Not Julia Roberts.

And it’s at that point that Ocean’s Twelve loses what little credibility it had left. And sadly it knows it. It almost feels like it’s going “we ran out of ideas, we’re sorry” and so decides, things are that bad they can’t get worse. And then Bruce Willis appears; in what can only be described as one of the worse cameo’s of all time.

I’ve mauled Ocean’s Twelve enough. I don’t like it. It’s a poor film, it’s the part of a trilogy that exists purely because it has to, but serves absolutely no purpose. If you have never seen it and want to be able to say you’ve watched the “Ocean’s Trilogy” then go in with your eyes open and expect to waste two hours of your life. If you’ve seen it before though, read a book!

7 out of 10 stars (7 / 10)

Posted on by 5WC in Film First Edition

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