Review for Ocean's Twelve
Terry Benedict has found Danny Ocean and the other ten members of his team, the team that robbed his casinos in the first film, and he wants his money back, with interest. What’s surprising is that Benedict’s in a good mood. He’ll give Danny a chance to pay the money back, two whole weeks in fact. What isn’t surprising is that they don’t have the money anymore, most everyone has spent it. They’ll have to go steal some more. They’re too hot in the US, so they’ll have to go abroad to steal it. Rusty suggests Amsterdam, but what he isn’t letting on is that his ex is in Amsterdam. And if that doesn’t complicate matters enough, they’re competing with a master thief known as the Night Fox.
Once again we have a 2.40:1 widescreen transfer, although this one is better than that given to the first film. There’s a greater degree of clarity and detail, and while black crush is still apparent, the noise reduction doesn’t seem quite as brutal as with the original. There is the odd fleck of dirt on the print, but if there is something to whinge about, it’s the post-processing done to the film with regards to the original filmmaker intent. Ocean’s Eleven was a lush, visual smorgasbord of saturated colour, and the sequel tries to emulate that, but on the other hand, it wants to be more verité documentary style, so it also has a desaturated element to it, as well as a lot of handheld camerawork. Quite frankly, the colour palette in Ocean’s Twelve looks weird.
Lossy audio once again, DD 5.1 Surround English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Japanese with subtitles in these languages and Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Portuguese, and Swedish. The audio is fine once you turn the volume up, but there will still be a fair bit of skipping back to turn on subtitles to deal with impenetrable mumbles The surround is put to use to convey action and ambience, as well as the music, although this time the soundtrack is nowhere near as iconic.
Once again, no main menu screen and the film autoplays. You can access the audio options, scene select and extras from a pop-up menu, and once the film has ended, a static menu screen appears listing the extras.
You get an audio commentary with director Steven Soderbergh and writer George Nolfi.
HBO First Look: Twelve is the New Eleven lasts 13:02 and is the making of doc.
There are 18 additional scenes presented separately or with a Play All option, and they run to a total of 28:19.
The theatrical trailer runs to 2:17, and all video extras are in SD format.
Ocean’s Eleven might have remade a ratpack movie, but Ocean’s Twelve is a ratpack movie. Every so often, the ratpack led by Sinatra would get together to hang out, play golf, have fun, and spend three months goofing around making a movie that they had more fun making, than anyone else had watching. That feels like what happened when they made Ocean’s Twelve, a chance for the team to get back together and hang out. The film may be a dismal disaster to watch, a waste of two hours and change, but you can take some comfort that Clooney et al had a much better time making the film, and they got paid for their efforts.
Gone is the wit, the pace, the energy of the first film, leaving a turgid, aimless extravagance. Most telling is the tiresome and uninteresting dialogue. The dialogue made the first film, it sparked between the characters, a verbal dance that caught the attention, and entertained with its sheer effervescence. There’s none of that here. You don’t care what the characters are saying to each other. I said in the audio section that a fair bit of it is lost to mumbling, and that you might skip back and flick the subtitles on. Honestly, I never felt the urge to do that. What was being said just wasn’t important enough.
The pacing of the film is so awful, it just never seems to get into gear. An hour in, and I was still waiting for the movie to start. Then there is the job itself. The thing about con movies, about heist movies, is that you get the job, the protagonists come up with a plan, and there are setbacks and twists. At the end, you see how the mark was actually conned, led into thinking that they were in complete control, and knew full well what was going down, but at the last we see the ingenuity with which the protagonists pulled off the caper. Not in Ocean’s Twelve. It’s not the mark that gets conned here; it’s the audience with a total ass-pull of an explanation of what happened, and a figurative ‘get out of jail free’ card being used. That’s before we even get to the Julia Roberts bit. I had to take a couple of paracetamol to deal with the pain of that.
I’d always heard that Ocean’s Twelve was bad, but nothing prepared me for the reality of it. It’s a shame as the premise was a good one, and once or twice in its two hour runtime, it throws off a spark of what made the original so good.