A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 41 – Ocean’s Twelve

Ocean’s Twelve – April 10th, 2010

***WARNING: Spoilers. While this movie is six years old, it is a heist movie and it has a lot of twists, so if you haven’t seen it and plan on watching and don’t want to know some of the reveals, don’t read. Okay. Warning over.***

Sigh. You know, after watching Ocean’s Eleven and loving it, I was all excited about the sequel and prepared to thoroughly enjoy it. And then I didn’t. It’s just got too many moments that make me cringe and not enough that make me grin. For example, while I know it’s crucial to the plot that everything go to hell for every single member of the original crew, and I know that it’s supposed to create dramatic tension and make me want to root for them. After all, what fun would it be to see a bunch of guys with everything go after something more? Except I already want to root for them. I already like them. I don’t enjoy seeing crappy things happen to characters I like. So the beginning of the movie, which I’m sure was meant to be a schadenfreude reintroduction to all the guys from the first movie, just makes me wince. Also wince-worthy is some comedy of embarrassment, but hey, that’s my hangup. This won’t be the last review I mention my discomfort with it in.

My other major issue with the movie is that it’s way too self aware in a not-so-cute way. It’s trying too hard. The guys talking about being annoyed about being referred to as “Ocean’s Eleven,” as if Danny owns them. The heist within a heist. The rival with an ego. Involving Tess and the whole “Doesn’t she look like Julia Roberts?” schtick. It’s just too much. The movie’s mired in its own conceit.

The heist is incredibly complicated. It’s as if the writers went “Hmm, the last one was brilliant because of how much it involved and how complicated it all was. Let’s double it. Or triple it! And it’ll be twice or three times as good!” That’s not how it works. I mean, they start out getting cornered by Benedict, who wants his money back and was tipped off by a rival thief who’s upset that Danny’s crew is being called “The best” when that’s what he considers himself. So then they have to pull jobs to make back what they’ve spent in the intervening years. So there are little heists. And meanwhile the rival is pulling the jobs ahead of them to prove how good he is. Except the big job is one they pulled before he pulled it before them. And it all turns out to be a set-up by a real master criminal who wants to meet his daughter who’s a special agent who tracks down master criminals and dated Rusty for a while. And I’ve massively simplified the whole deal by a ton. Oh my god, so much going on in this movie. Too much.

Now, I will say, in the movie’s defense, that the characters are very very in character when they’re introduced. Seeing where they all ended up post-heist is fun and things like Turk and Virgil’s intro just work really well character-wise. Actually, Turk and Virgil are fantastic through the movie. Their dialogue is genuinely funny. And there are some great individual scenes. The introduction of Eddie Izzard’s character, Roman, is great, and I look forward to his involvement in tomorrow’s movie. The Caldwell family reveal is fantastic. I love the acrobatics through the lasers so much that I tracked down the music that plays during the scene (it’s “Thé à la menthe” by Nikkfurie/La caution – I’ve seen it credited to both in different places – and apparently has lyrics too, but I’ve never heard them). I do love Catherine Zeta Jones’ character, Isabel. She’s a kickass lady and while for the majority of the movie her plot with Rusty is just a matter of support for the heist plot, I like it quite a lot. All that being said, it’s just not enough to make the movie as much fun to watch as the first was. Or the third will be tomorrow. It’s just too serious about the whole thing. It’s missing the light-hearted spirit, even if it does try incredibly hard to get laughs every chance it gets.


April 10, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , , ,

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