a critiQal film review Ocean’s Twelve (2004)

Plot: Danny Ocean (Clooney) and his gang of thieves pulled off the biggest job of their career three and a half years ago. Now, the man they stole from (Garcia) wants his money back - with interest. But another player has entered the game this time around - The Night Fox. Do they stand a chance against this master thief - or is this the end for Danny and the gang?

557 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 47s)
  • ...while it does look like it was thrown together a little too quickly, this one still turns out to be a pleasant surprise.

The amazing cast of characters from hit film Ocean’s Eleven has reassembled for the expected Hollywood sequel, Ocean’s Twelve.

With a lot less fanfare this time around, it looks as if Warner Bros. didn’t have very high expectations for Ocean’s Twelve. At least, not the great success of the first film. That’s even more obvious when you discover the special features on the DVD consist of just the Theatrical Trailer for the film. Not one single featurette or feature-length commentary. Nothing. Just the trailer. Talk about low expectations!

But, are the big movie studios always right? We already know that’s not the case (Look at Donnie Darko (2001) if you want an example. Incredibly low expectations to begin with – and now they’ve just released a 2-disc Director’s Cut of the film, and lead Jake Gyllenhaal is one of young Hollywood’s rising stars.).

So, is Ocean’s Twelve as bad as the studio obviously thinks it is, or will it prove to be surprisingly good?

The entire cast of characters from the first film is back for Ocean’s Twelve, reprising their original roles. George Clooney and Brad Pitt still easily fit into their roles of being the lead actors/thieves, and again do pretty good jobs in the film. Matt Damon also does a good job of being the “newbie” of the group, and Julia Roberts plays a fun dual role in the film, leading to a couple of really entertaining scenes.

The others (among them Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Andy Garcia and Scott Caan) also do a decent job in their roles, but don’t really bring much extra to the film. Catherine Zeta-Jones also joins the group this time around, and does a great job portraying one of the team’s nemeses.

Ocean’s Twelve is extremely well put together, plot-wise. It is full of fun twists and turns and hints at them with such finesse the viewer will most likely not pick up on them until it’s too late (Trust me on this one – I guessed the end of Se7en (1995) after falling asleep for an hour in the middle of the film, but this film caught me off-guard). The film is rather fast-paced, so the audience will never have to worry about getting bored.

Ocean’s Twelve will drag the viewer in, and keep them until the finale quite easily. It does look a bit like it was thrown together just a bit too quickly (some plot points tie up just a little too easily at the end of the film), but hey, that’s the nature of Hollywood. – cut corners, save time, and try to still pull in the big bucks by producing a sequel while the public is still interested.

Overall though, Ocean’s Twelve is a pleasant surprise for a Hollywood sequel, and a great follow-up to the original.

It’s too bad that Warner Bros. didn’t put too much interest into packing the features into the DVD, as discovering some of the behind-the-scenes stuff is one of the fun parts about DVDs to begin with – it’s one of the things that has always separated DVD from VHS (that, and the higher quality sound and picture). It’s always a shame when the studio doesn’t take full advantage of the medium and produces a DVD like this one with a severely-lacking depth in it’s special features section.

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