Reel Rewind – Ocean’s 13

Ocean’s 13 (M)

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Al Pacino

Two and a half stars

Review by Julian Wright

This year has seen a few part three’s grace our cinema screens and none have been able to top their predecessors. Spiderman 3 was too long and over plotted and Pirates 3 went right off the rails. Unfortunately, Ocean’s 13 is no exception.

When Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould) goes into the hotel business with the sneaky Willie Bank (Al Pacino), who has a history of double crossing his partners, the last thing he expects is to be double crossed himself. But that’s exactly what happens and it causes him to have a nasty heart attack that puts him in hospital.

In an act of revenge, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) brings his gang back together again to bankrupt Bank on the opening night of his new big hotel/casino. They have put people on the inside, rigged the roulette tables and slot machines, tampered with the dice and manage to fake a minor earthquake to disable a super computer used by the casino to check the crowds for cheats. The plot thickens when Ocean finds he must turn to his rival Terry Benedict for extra funding to pull off this elaborate heist.

Having never been very impressed with these ensemble films, I was hoping the third in the series might offer something new but it doesn’t. Movie goers are given the same routine for the third time. These films rely so heavily on star power that the direction and pacing are so relaxed, resulting in some sedate and boring sequences.

Just when the plot thickens and the screws of suspense should be tightened the film still cruises along in first gear. It is undeniable that audiences enjoyed watching some of Hollywood’s biggest names share the screen but they are lifeless. They just stand there oozing charisma and appeal but it is just not enough to carry a two hour film.

The best moments are when director Steven Soderberg takes a break from all the expositional dialogue and allows the characters to engage in idle chit-chat.

As appeared in Examiner Newspapers 2007.

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