June 12, 2007

Ocean's Thirteen

I was a little confused and a lot surprised when I first saw Ocean’s Eleven. Confused for I couldn’t understand why many didn’t like the film and surprised when it did too well. A lot of people thought that the Ocean’s Eleven was a stupid film. It looked decent enough to me- 11 misfits in society who are unwilling to let go of the prankster in them. The surprise success of the film must have made the studio realize that they had stuck gold and this cow could be milked more. Some time later they came up with Ocean’s Twelve. The boys went to Europe this time around to make a quick buck in order to repay the casino boss they had robbed in the previous part. That was a lousy film but if memory serves me right made more money than the first one. So they then decided to make a third one. The underlying reason for everyone to return was that the script was too good to pass.


Considering that Ocean’s series will never be remembered for it’s script or cinematic genius, I was almost fooled into believing that they must really have a very decent script to come back.

I was wrong.

The only time 13 is going to be lucky for the Ocean franchise would be the opening weekend at the box office. Too much of the same thing can be a let down in addition to making you realize that you have been endorsing stupidity all this while and Ocean’s Thirteen superbly manages to do the needful. The camera movements, the stylized cutting, the music and one liners now look so jaded that even the actors seem to be doing everyone a favor. Every time Danny Ocean or Rusty or Linus or anyone cracks a joke it’s the music that tells us that the joke’s over and we should perhaps laugh. Julia Roberts is conspicuously absent from this one for I don’t she will ever forgive Steven Soderbergh for making her look like an extra in part 2. There is only one woman in the cast is Ellen Barkin who plays Al Pacino’s side kick. She looks like a 50-year-old Cameron Diaz but more importantly Barkin looks lost. Al Pacino, who seems to be forever waiting for instructions from the director, portrays Ocean’s nemesis. What could have been a walk in the park for an actor of Pacino’s caliber turns out to be an exercise in hamming. Brad Pitt looks does a great job following his brief- stand there and look good. Matt Damon is angry for it seems like he wants to grow up but isn’t allowed to.

The usual suspects are all there but few of them like Elliot Gould hardly has anything to do; Don Cheadle spends most of the time drilling underground so you never see him in good light; Bernie Mac does his black man bit and looks happy, the Chinese guy now looks like an overgrown kid and about the others the less said, the better. These boys look like they had a tough time fitting in their old shoes for they all look like bored husbands now.

All the recent films that have raked in millions at the box office have one common feature- they all look manufactured byu bored officials on some run down assembly line. Spiderman-3, Ocean’s Thirteen, Pirates-3 all seem to be made for one sole reason- continued run of the successful brand name. With everything looking the same the audiences will soon loose interest but the sadder truth is that once you see the sequels and think back, you realize that the first part was stupid too. And trust me, you don’t want to look stupid whenever an installment comes out!

Image Courtesy: www.movieblog.com

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