The Nose Plays. The Movie? Sorta

9 Jun

Let me get this out of the way right up top: Ocean’s Thirteen is not the best movie in the series; that would be Ocean’s Five, when Danny and Rusty broke out of prison together so they could steal a diamond from a billionaire real estate developer.

But it’s still better than Ocean’s Nine, undoubtedly the worst movie in the series.

But seriously … and that’s not exactly a bad way to begin … Ocean’s Thirteen is not the movie I was hoping for.

I happen to love the other two (Eleven more than Twelve), mostly because they’re so cool and breezy, and the chemistry between the whole group is so strong that watching the movies is like being one of the boys for two hours.

This latest film is a more serious affair.

The gang is out for revenge against Willy Bank (Al Pacino, chewing scenery like a champ), who has cut Reuben (Elliott Gould) out of a deal to build a new casino on the Vegas strip, and caused Reuben to suffer a heart attack.

Sure, the other two films were also about getting back at someone who has wronged them, but here, the premise is definitely more somber. And that affects the whole operation.

We’re dealing with some higher stakes — more than just money — and a more complicated scam, and as a result, things just aren’t as fun and breezy as they’ve been in the previous films.

Which is not to say Ocean’s Thirteen is no fun at all. In fact, nearly every cast member gets a chance to shine comedically at one point in the movie, and there are some good laughs — particularly a couple at the very end.

There’s a pretty funny subplot with Casey Affleck and Scott Caan at a Mexican dice factory (and, in fact, when these two are together it’s always good).

I liked the various nicknames for the various tricks and devices, like “the Brody,” and enjoyed Danny and Rusty’s discussions about how “relationships are hard” (thus explaining why Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta Jones aren’t back).

And when the heist does kick into high gear, that’s definitely when the film peaks.

But here, Stephen Soderbergh’s stylistic touches feel like nothing more than experimentation, or style for style’s sake.

And David Holmes’ score isn’t as memorable as his others.

Ocean’s Twelve was unjustly accused of being more of a lark than a movie, but on second and third (and fourth and fifth) viewing, it’s hard to deny the cast is having a blast making the movie.

They don’t seem to be having the same good time here.

Rather, it’s like they knew they had something to prove after the critical drubbing they got last time, and they had to buckle down.

I wish they hadn’t done that.

And sure, I’ll probably never say I disliked an Ocean’s movie, but I was a bit disappointed with this one. So I’m only going to give it a B–.

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3 Responses to “The Nose Plays. The Movie? Sorta”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 5 Reasons Why Guys Shouldn’t Be Embarrassed About Seeing “Magic Mike” « Martin's Musings - June 29, 2012

    […] You know Steven Soderbergh: He’s the Oscar-winning director of Traffic, Contagion, The Informant!, and of course, Ocean’s 11, 12, and 13. […]

  2. Everybody Run. Helen Mirren’s Got a Gun. | Martin's Musings - July 18, 2013

    […] Is the running gag where nearly every character gives Frank some kind of relationship advice an Ocean’s Thirteen retread? Indeed. But somehow, it all still […]

  3. RED 2: Movie Review | Popblerd!! - July 19, 2013

    […] running gag where nearly every character gives Frank some kind of relationship advice feel like an Ocean’s Thirteen retread? Indeed. But somehow, it all still […]

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