Friday, March 15, 2013

Short Cut Movie Review From My Collection: Ocean's 13

Short Cut Movie Review is normally less than 400 words, but in some cases may go slightly over. This is my attempt to keep writing about as many films as I see without getting bogged down with trying to find more to say. They are meant to be brief snapshots of my reaction to a movie without too much depth.

Ocean’s 13, the second sequel to Steven Soderbergh’s successful remake of the Rat Pack feature, reaches critical mass with the number of characters piled onto the series. Soderbergh should be thankful that Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta Jones bowed out of the series. I don’t see where there’s room for them. You’ve got the original eleven; plus Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), their mark in the first film and a confederate this time; Roman Nagel (Eddie Izzard), a tech wizard who aided them in the last film; Toulour (Vincent Cassel) from the last film; Al Pacino as Willy Bank, their newest mark, a hotel magnate whose shady business antics put Reuben in the hospital; Ellen Barkin as Abigail Sponder, Bank’s right hand woman; and a small role for Julian Sands as the designer of the Bank Casino’s security shield; and David Paymer as the poor schmo of a hotel critic whose room is sabotaged by the crew.

The characterization should be spread too thin, but because the original crew has been so well-established in the first two films, Brian Koppelman and David Levien are able to leave out the usual montage of introductions. It’s just as funny as the second film, again at the expense of Linus (Matt Damon) most of the time. There’s also something about bringing the series back to Las Vegas that gives it a certain retro hipness – there’s a code between guys who’ve shook Sinatra’s hand – that the first sequel lacked. It’s tighter and better conceived than Ocean’s12, and quite thankfully doesn’t rely too heavily on such a dramatic bait and switch. Like the first film, of course there’s a twist in the reveal that you can’t really see coming, but at least it doesn’t bother setting us up for 30 minutes with a fake heist.

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