Movie Review: Ocean’s 13

By Amy Lamare, June 9, 2007

The beauty of Ocean’s 11 and Ocean’s 13 (OCEN3) lies in the simplicity of their execution. Ocean’s 12 failed simply because it became too complicated. Each member of the team is assigned a task. A relatively simple task. It is the coming together of each of those tasks that makes the complicated crime both possible and perfect. If each man does his job, the plan’s execution should be simple. Ergo, 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1=13. Simple. Complicated. Brilliant. Fun.

The film opens with shots of our gang enjoying the high life after their European heist. Most notably, loveable Reuben (Elliot Gould) is on the roof of a new Casino with business partner Willy Bank, played by Al Pacino (APACI). Bank is a notoriously corrupt Vegas businessman, but Elliot decided to put his trust in him because they were both “old enough to have shook Sinatra’s hand.” (Apparently, Sinatra is the Pope in this scenario. Oh wait, I’m from Vegas, he IS the Pope.) Unfortunately, Willy Bank screws Elliot over, who goes into a catatonic shock.

This pisses Danny Ocean and his crew off. And like the Hulk, you don’t want to make Danny Ocean unhappy.

So the gang goes off to Vegas to defraud Willy on the opening night of his casino, called “The Bank.” Since it’s scheduled to open on July 3 the team swiftly concocts a plan that is stunningly complex in its simplicity. If they are to sabotage the opening of The Bank, they need to hit Willy where he lives.

Fortunately for Ocean and the gang, Willy is so concerned with winning another Five Diamond award for the hotel that he is easily distracted. Carl Reiner impersonates a hotel critic to evaluate the soft opening for Five Diamond consideration. Meanwhile, the real critic, played by David Paymer (DPAYM), is beset by all kinds of horrors and mistreatments. “Don’t let the bed bugs bite” is what they should have told him upon check in.

In the first 20 minutes of the film we see the plot come together. Down in Mexico, Scott Caan (SCAAN) and Casey Affleck (CAFFL) are at work on their parts of the plan. Sabotage the dice (make them magnetic) and lighters (used to make the dice flip at will). While they are doing that, Brad Pitt’s (BPITT) Rusty plays a hairy hippy specializing in geology who shows up in Bank’s office to tell him that his Casino is vulnerable to a sizable earthquake and urges him to keep a seismometer on his desk to monitor the earth’s rockin’ and rollin’. Now the crew has a camera in their target’s office.

One of the delicious twists in this installment is the inclusion of former adversary Terry Benedict, played by Andy Garcia (AGARC), who bankrolls the heist. This enables Don Cheadle’s (DCHEA) Basher to buy a giant drill – the one used to carve out the French side of the Chunnel – and start drilling beneath the Casino in an effort to make that earthquake prediction come true. Other members of Ocean’s crew, such as Bernie Mac (BMAC), infiltrate the Casino’s staff to corrupt from within.

Last but not least, Linus (Matt Damon (MDAMO) is charged with the seduction of Bank’s sharp #2 gal, played by Ellen Barkin (EBARK). He is posing as the manservant of the wealthy Mr. Wang, played by the group’s Shaobo Qin. They do it all to restore Reuben to health, wealth and vitality.

Steven Soderbergh (SSODE) both directed and lensed (using his nom de camera “Peter Andrews”) and the resulting images are sumptuous to behold. Ocean’s 13 is a light and fun film for summer audiences, full of the fun and banter we’ve come to expect from the franchise.

Ocean’s 13 opens in wide release on June 9, 2007.

This work is the property of Stock Exchange and Amy Lamare. It is not to be reused, reprinted or stolen under any conditions.

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