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Ocean's Twelve

Ocean’s Twelve on DVD

In the tradition of countless other sequels that nobody asked for, the latest offering is a sequel to one of the most stylish and fun caper flicks in recent years, Ocean’s Eleven.

While the possibilities for more adventures with Danny Ocean and Co. are essentially endless, the first film wrapped things up rather nicely and left us feeling satisfied. But considering the film made more coin domestically than the characters in it, and the fact that the cast and crew members regularly talked about how much fun they had filming it, a sequel was pretty much a no-brainer.

Ocean and his eleven have all made their cool millions and gotten away with them, so are now living the high life. Danny (George Clooney) is living happily with Tess (Julia Roberts); Rusty (Brad Pitt) is having trouble keeping his new hotel in business; the Mormon Twins (Scott Caan and Casey Affleck) are getting married (maybe or maybe not to each other)…everybody seems pretty happy.

Until, that is, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) shows up at each of their respective locations and informs them that he knows they stole his money. And he wants it back. With interest. So, naturally, the crew is assembled again and must come up with a way to pay back the $97 million they’ve spent so far. They start with a small job, planning on working their way up to some big paydays in the near future.

But someone is out to get them. Somebody leaked the info to Benedict, and somebody keeps getting one up on them during their “jobs.” It could be a fellow thief called Nightfox, who claims he’s the best at what he does. Or it could be the humorless Europol agent, Isabel (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Either way, Ocean and his team are going to have to give everything they’ve got and outsmart some pretty smart people to come out on top of this one.

Ocean’s Twelve reunites all the major cast members from Ocean’s Eleven and adds a few more, including Zeta-Jones and Vincent Cassel. The style and wit remain intact, and all of the cast members are appropriately charming. For some reason, though, it doesn’t quite work.

Perhaps it’s that there’s too much going on this time around; perhaps it’s that there are too many characters to keep track of; or perhaps it’s because Ted Griffin, who wrote the script for Ocean’s Eleven, didn’t return this time, and was instead replaced by George Nolfi, one of the guys who wrote Timeline. Sure, Nolfi does his darndest to be true to Eleven, but the script is missing something this time around.

The worst part of the movie is a lengthy, unfunny sequence at the beginning in which we get to watch Terry Benedict approach each of Ocean’s Eleven and inform them that he knows they took his money. It would have been sufficient for him to merely approach Danny and have Danny tell everybody else. There would have then been more time to dedicate to the actual plot.

Perhaps the real problem, though, is the one that nobody could do anything about. After having seen the first film, we can’t help but feel that everything happening here is all a part of the plan, so we’re never really too concerned that the protagonists won’t triumph. Our only question is how it all fits into the plan, and unfortunately, the end result is even less plausible than that of its predecessor.

On the other hand, Ocean’s Twelve is a pretty fun little romp that, from a certain perspective, is the perfect sequel. Try not to think too much about it and just have a good time. But give it a rental first and see how it suits you.

Warning! Warning! Ocean’s Twelve will almost surely receive a special edition version sometime in the future. The version available now features extremely average audio and video transfers and nothing more than a theatrical trailer.

Video is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen, and despite it displaying excellent color and detail for the most part, certain scenes just look bad. Some of the darker sequences show off large patches of dust and grain, and some of the earlier sequences look very soft. However, there are some very well done bits of color, and detail is always done well with the exception of the aforementioned scenes.

Audio comes in 5.1 Dolby Digital, and primarily uses the front channels. It’s a dialogue-heavy film, so naturally the center speaker is going to get a good workout, but there are plenty of opportunities for using separation, as there are often numerous characters spread throughout a room. The surround speakers are rarely used, save for such instances as cars exploding. But the quality of the transfer itself is very good: dialogue is always audible and nothing interferes with anything else.

As mentioned before, extras include a theatrical trailer and that’s it.

Ocean’s Twelve, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
125 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (2.40:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac and Julia Roberts
Produced by Jerry Weintraub
Written by George Nolfi, directed by Stephen Soderbergh


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