Friday, June 8, 2007


A revenge job is the driving force behind Ocean’s Thirteen, a pretty darn good and handsome return to form for George Clooney and Co.

Mind you, I enjoyed Ocean’s Twelve, with its intricate plot and big budget indie look (Steven Soderbergh directed it – and all of the Ocean’s movies – after all). I totally don’t see how it was, as a critic puts it, “pleased with itself.”

But I digress. This is the first threequel of the summer that I can genuinely call a winner.

Danny Ocean (Clooney), Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon), and their sleek brotherhood of con men come together again – back in Vegas, baby – to avenge one of their own, Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould), who has been strong-armed out of a deal by ruthless casino owner Willy Bank (Al Pacino).

Bad move, Mr. Bank – you may have taken down one of the original Ocean’s Eleven, but you’ve left the others standing, and, they are not above getting even.

Firstly, they will ruin Bank financially by turning the tables on the precept that the house always wins. And secondly, they will add insult to injury by stealing his personal pride and joy: his reputation as the only hotelier who has earned the Royal Review Board’s Five Diamond Award on every single one of his hotels.

The plan is elaborate and near impossible – but if anyone can pull it off, you know it is Ocean’s Thirteen.

And who are the extra two players, you ask. Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones sit this heist out because this is “not their fight” – the still smokin’ Ellen Barkin steps into the femme role, a little thanklessly, though – so the gang enlists old enemy Terry Benedict, once again played by Andy Garcia, and Eddie Izzard for the job.

But proving that, indeed, all good things must come to an end (and why is that, anyway, if the going is…good?), I think the movies have come full circle.

Ingeniously and successfully, Clooney and Co. have given us a fun trilogy destined to one day become somewhat of a classic. I know that’s quite the thing to say, but look at these movies and their casts. What more could you want?

My Rating ***1/2

Photo: Warner Bros.

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