Ocean's Thirteen


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Ocean's Thirteen
"If ever a film seemed aimed squarely at a family matinee audience, this is it."

Ocean's 13 is a breezy summer caper movie, a solid example of what passes for tradition in Hollywood portrayals of Las Vegas.

The plot, such as it is, follows the assembled 13 as they go up against Willie Bank, played without sign of effort by Al Pacino. After Bank crosses Reuben Tishkoff (Gould) in the process of constructing a new hotel, Danny Ocean (Clooney) and Rusty Ryan (Pitt) call in the boys.

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This isn't about revenge, as one character would have it, but justice. This is about the old codes, honour among thieves and those who "shook Sinatra's hand". Those who operate outwith the code are punished, and the few innocents who suffer are amply compensated.

The heist itself is complex, stretching at least as far as the point of absurdity. There are digging machines, dice factory strikes and casino dominoes. There's also a prosthetic nose that's never quite properly explained, despite extensive discussion.

Among the supporting cast, Eddie Izzard, Vincent Cassell and Andy Garcia return from earlier outings. Eddie Izzard has a line that certainly plays better for British audiences than anyone else, while Garcia's best scene is in the trailer. The film is genuinely funny in places, though many of its jokes are at the expense of actors, rather than characters. Don Cheadle's at times risible English accent, which shows no signs of improvement from previous outings, is poked at, and there's even a handful of Oprah jokes. There's a clear sense of relaxed fun across most of the performances, except perhaps for Matt Damon's Linus, whose earnest desire to be considered a major player among the assembled talent is almost touching.

Ocean's 13 is an example of classic film making, with bright geometric title sequences, split screen action, a Marxophone credit and explanatory text on screen. There's no violence, no swearing of note, almost no sex, and nearly no women. The film is almost defiantly old-fashioned, even if the first entry in the soundtrack is from a ring-tone. If ever a film seemed aimed squarely at a family matinee audience, this is it.

The film's biggest problem is in its genial familiarity. While it's certainly fun to watch, it's not necessarily worth going to see.

Reviewed on: 06 Jun 2007
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The team undertake another heist.
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Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Brian Koppelman, David Levien, based on characters by George Clayton Johnson, Jack Golden Russell

Starring: Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Michael Mantell, Elliott Gould, Ray Xifo, Al Pacino, Adam Lazarre-White, Eddie Jemison, Don Cheadle, Shaobo Qin, Carl Reiner, Ellen Barkin, Vincent Cassel

Year: 2007

Runtime: 122 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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If you like this, try:

Ocean's 12
Ocean's Eleven