The third dip in the Ocean for Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney, et al, is as cool as the first

Ocean's Thirteen

on June 08, 2007 by Richard Mowe
It's not often that the third in any franchise lives up to the reputation of its predecessors. Here Steven Soderbergh manages to pull it off by trumping the lackluster number two in the series and returning to the upbeat ambience and freshness of the first one. The 21st-century Rat Pack is on a roll and knows it, as became obvious as they joked and laughed their way up the red carpet for the world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

We're back in Vegas with the gang, headed by George Clooney's Danny Ocean, planning to turn the tables on Al Pacino's sleazy casino operator Willie Bank. Bank has double-crossed Ocean's mentor Reuben Tishkoff (a laconic Elliot Gould) and sent him with a heart condition to hospital where he's fighting for his life. Naturally a sharp lesson is in order as Danny gathers his pals and even a former adversary to cause mayhem on opening night at Bank's new casino. The idea is to get even by setting up every game so that everyone present breaks the bankā€”the sweetest revenge of all. Precisely how they go about rigging the machines and devising a strategy to extricate themselves from it all at the end is plausibly and enjoyably defined in an astute and witty script by Brian Koppelman and David Levien. In the mix is a potential earthquake and the theft of a diamond necklace worth some $250 million dollars.

The acting is as playful and sophisticated as ever with Clooney and Brad Pitt exuding their trademark aura of super-cool while Matt Damon has the opportunity to take on two roles as Linus and his alter ego Lenny Pepperridge. One of his tasks is to seduce Bank's assistant Abigail Sponder, played with great comic timing and allure by Ellen Barkin. Audiences may not grasp every subplot and twist, which are delivered with machine-gun rapidity, but who cares when you can bask in the thrill of the game plan, the cool costumes and designs as well as a crisp jazz-based score.
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Ellen Barkin, Al Pacino, Casey Affleck, Vincent Cassel, Julian Sands, Eddie Izzard, Carl Reiner and Shaobo Qin
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Screenwriters: Brian Koppelman & David Levien
Producer: Jerry Weintraub
Genre: Comedy thriller
Rating: PG-13 for brief sensuality
Running time: 122 min.
Release date: June 8, 2007
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