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Movie review

Convoluted plot robs 'Ocean's Twelve' of its charm

Published December 20, 2004

[Warner Bros.]
From left, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and George Clooney are back together in Ocean’s Twelve.

Billy Norris
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

Ocean's Twelve

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Years after the crafty heist of America's three most-profitable casinos, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and the 10 others who helped him pull it off are living comfortably in their spoils. But that is about to change. The owner of the casinos, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), who also happens to be the ex-boyfriend of Danny's wife, Tess (Julia Roberts), finally figures out who committed the crime and delivers an ultimatum: They have two weeks to pay back the money, with interest, or else. Danny reassembles the team, and they head to Europe to try and steal the $190-million they need to appease Benedict and save their lives. With a detective (Catherine Zeta-Jones) hot on their trail, and a rival French thief trying to claim the title as the best thief in the world, this heist will prove to be much more challenging than the first.

My view: Disappointingly, this sequel to 2001's Ocean's Eleven lacked much of the clarity and ingenuity that made its predecessor such a standout heist flick. The plot of Eleven was extremely successful because it skillfully combined the right amount of wit and intelligence with a clever concept. This time, they tried too hard to capture that perfect mix, and they wound up with a messy, confusing and sometimes incoherent story. Once the story line finally comes together, you realize it is cleverly done, but should you have to ponder a film after the fact to understand it? The cast is loaded with big names once again: Clooney, Roberts, Zeta-Jones, Garcia, Brad Pitt, Bernie Mac and Matt Damon, among others. But none seems to deliver a truly powerful punch. Laughs come much less frequently than they did in Ocean's Eleven, and the humor that is present is somewhat dulled by the convolution of the plot. While watching this movie, I had the feeling that there was an inside joke going on that I wasn't privy to. We have another all-too-common case of the inferior sequel on our hands.

Recommendations: Don't even bother if you haven't seen Ocean's Eleven; you will be too lost for words. Even if you have seen the first movie, you might be disappointed in this second offering.

Grade: C

- Billy Norris, 17, is in 11th grade at Seminole High, and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

[Last modified December 17, 2004, 11:20:42]

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