After taking a gamble with Ocean’s Twelve’s three date European heist storyline, Steven Soderbergh takes a safe bet in returning this franchise to a casino heist in America. The director even pokes fun at the audience’s desire to see familiar faces doing the same old things in movie franchises when Don Cheadle, bad English accent and all, quips, ‘We can’t do the same gag twice. It’s boring if we do the same gag twice!’ Soderbergh sticks to the template, he seems to have forgotten that occasionally familiarity breeds contempt.
The first scene is an apology for the absence of both Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta Jones. Quickly writing them out of the script Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) moan about their partners making life tough for them at home and refusing to come out to play. The duo round-up the troops to ensure that the dastardly new casino owner Willy Banks (Al Pacino) doesn’t pull a fast one on their old buddy Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould). All the characters are pretty much as they were in the previous movies. The movie has the infuriating habit of setting up an obstacle in one scene just so that it can be overcome in the very next. Nevertheless this old schoolboy’s reunion manages to entertain through the quality of the performances and some assured filmmaking.
General release, Fri 8 Jun.