Ocean’s Thirteen Review

by Ed Lau on June 9, 2007

I was a bit hesitant to go to the theater for this particular movie due to the fact that the previous installment in the Ocean’s # series, Ocean’s Twelve, blew. Seriously, I can’t even remember what they were trying to steal in the second movie, how they went about doing so or what the hell Catherine Zeta Jones and Julia Roberts did in it. The second movie lacked the glamour and panache of Ocean’s Eleven, which was one of the most enjoyable and well made heist movies ever.

Luckily for George Clooney and has merry men, Ocean’s Thirteen is back in the happiest place on earth, Las Vegas, where it belongs. The film begins with Willie Bank (played by Al Pacino) ripping off original Eleven member, Reuben on a hotel/casino they were working on together. The ordeal left Reuben with little money and bed-ridden from a heart attack. This pisses off everyone else due to the Band-of-Brothers rule and also because Bank broke one of the cardinal rules of old school Vegas: guys that shake Frank Sinatra’s hand are brothers.

This gives us the pre-requisites for a ludicrously elaborate revenge scheme that brings all the boys back. I’m not going to spoil much more for you but the script this time around is better than that of the previous movie, probably because it was penned by the same folks that made one of my favorite movies of all time, Rounders. It is, however, not as good as Ocean’s Eleven in that the heist is too complicated and while most of us will get it, it will leave some scratching their head trying to keep up with all the details. In fact, I can think of a couple things that were there for nearly no reason at all. Bernie Mac, as enjoyable as he is to watch, is mostly a bystander.

There were some genuinely funny moments in the movie too, without being blatantly obvious. Clooney and Pitt share a quiet moment with Oprah and the whole thing in Mexico with Virgil and Turk Malloy (Casey Affleck and Scott Caan) is hilarious. Although his acting left much to be desired, the appearance by Super Dave Osborne was great. At 53, you really wouldn’t expect Ellen Barkin to bring the hot but she is cougariffic on screen. The movie is very stylishly directed with seamless CG and a top-notch wardrobe on everyone involved.

Ocean’s Thirteen is miles better than the second but behind the first. While the cast does a great job and has great chemistry together, the film itself lacks tension. Even as things go from bad to catastrophic, the boys don’t seem all that worried and neither does the audience. You just think “Well, they planned for that somehow.” There’s no moment where you think “Oh crap…”. At no point in the movie do you have any doubt that Ocean and his crew would pull it off.

Can I recommend it? It’s probably a matinée at best or probably better as a DVD rental. There are better movies coming out soon…hopefully.

Verdict: 6.5 out of 10

in Entertainment

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick Yuen June 9, 2007 at 9:02 am

Thanks for the review. I’ll give it a watch then. I hated the 2nd one but the first one was a classic. I hope they used Yen more in the 3rd one because he rocks.


Michael Kwan June 9, 2007 at 2:28 pm

“due to the fact that the preview installment”

I think you mean previous.


Ed Lau June 9, 2007 at 2:35 pm

Dammit. Spell-check doesn’t help on things that aren’t…spelled incorrectly.


Leo June 11, 2007 at 12:02 pm

Man, Michael is like your grammar teacher or something. I remember I used to have a teacher that liked to whack the metre stick around to get attention. I’m gonna get Michael a metre stick. I wonder where you can get one of those nowadays?


watch bones April 26, 2008 at 2:10 pm

I just watched it and it was alright. It wasn’t as good as oceans 11 though =/


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