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For more movie summaries, see Kam's Kapsules.

(Photo by Ralph Nelson SMPSP)

photo caption:
COORDINATING A COMPLICATED CAPER: Danny (George Clooney, left), Linus (Matt Damon, middle), and Rusty (Brad Pitt) are busy working out the details of their plans to steal a Faberge egg so they an raise enough cash to keep the Las Vegas mobsters off their tails.
end caption.

"Ocean's Twelve": Danny's Former Gang of Eleven (Plus One) Does It Again

Review by Kam Williams

Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack never took themselves all that seriously when they made the original Ocean's 11 back in 1960. Nobody complained, however, because enough A-list actors had been assembled for the endeavor.

Director Steven Soderbergh took the same approach several years ago in his unsatisfying remake, crafting a slapdash romp which was a hit because of the big-name cast which included George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Bernie Mac, Matt Damon, Elliot Gould, Don Cheadle, and Carl Reiner. The question for this highly-anticipated sequel was whether Soderbergh would stick to that formula and produce a celebrity-driven farce, or would he make a movie that is memorable for more than its famous cast.

Ocean's Twelve is more satisfying than Eleven in terms of plot line and dialogue, and it adds Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Peter Fonda to the cast. The film has an international flavor thanks to breathtaking cinematography shot across European locations in Monte Carlo, Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, and Sicily.

Ocean's Twelve is a convoluted crime caper that begins three years after the gang had pilfered $160 million from Las Vegas kingpin Terry Benedict's (Andy Garcia) casino vault. Danny Ocean (Clooney) has re-married his ex-wife, Tess (Roberts), and retired to suburban Connecticut to live out his days quietly.

The rest of his crew have been indulging their individual fantasies. Con man Rusty (Pitt) has bought himself a trendy hotel in Hollywood and safecracker Frank (Mac) has been having his sensitive fingernails manicured in upscale salons. Meanwhile, British explosives expert Basher (Cheadle) is attempting to break into the music business and pickpocket Linus (Damon) has been dreaming about coming out of retirement to start his own operation.

The fun starts when a stool pigeon rats them all out to Benedict, and the ruthless mobster wants his money back immediately, or else. With half of the booty blown, Danny and company must reconvene and hatch a plot for an even bigger payday. They ultimately settle on stealing a priceless Faberge egg. By involving Tess in the scheme, they turn the team into an even dozen.

Between them and the Faberge stands Europol Agent Isabel Lahiri (Zeta-Jones), an expert at cracking such sophisticated cases, and Francois Toulour (Victor Cassel), a French master thief who is competing for the same prize. Peppered with plenty of humorous asides throughout, the production is frequently funny, if not always exactly plausible.

See it all resolved with a flourish which makes Ocean's 12 one of those rare sequels which actually improves on the original.

Very Good (3 stars). Rated PG-13 for profanity. Running time: 130 minutes. Distributor: Warner Brothers.

end of review.

For more movie summaries, see Kam's Kapsules.


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