Film Review: Ocean’s Thirteen


Film: Ocean’s Thirteen

Director: Steven Sodderberg

Cast: Al Pacino, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Elliot Gould, Bernie Mac, Carl Reiner, Andy Garcia

Rating: 3/5

They began with eleven, and before we knew it, the third film of the series was on its way to the theatres.

Considering that Ocean’s Thirteen is miles ahead of Twelve in being a better film, and a lot many miles behind Eleven, imagine where it leaves us, the audience.

Hardnosed casino owner Willy Bank (Al Pacino) can’t stop counting the dough, after casting a double whammy on Ruben Tishkoff (Elliot Gould), Danny’s (George Clooney) friend and mentor. So in this flick, the slick, suave, designer clad gang are out to avenge their own with a two fold strategy. While the first step is to ruin him financially, the second is to strike his pride by ensuring that the grand opening of his hotel and receiving the ‘five diamond award’ is disastrous.

Though the plan is sophisticated and borders on being impossible to achieve, the limits are stretched to make all of it achievable.

Sodderberg is no newbie to providing wholesome entertainment, he is the same guy who gave us films like Traffic, Erin Brokovich and wrote Sex,lies and Videotape. To begin with, the movie lives up to the expectations created over the years, ever since Ocean’s Eleven released.

However, the characters and the plot in itself is so loose and dull, you begin to wonder what is it that made you watch the flick in the first place. While the earlier films laid emphasis on the characters and the bigger picture, this time it is the plot that supersedes all. The only major hiccup in this film is that, while everything unfolds, it just seems more superficial than you walked in expecting it to be, and honestly I don’t think that is a good thing.

Moreover the plot itself seems thoroughly unpersuasive. In all, it’s a whole lot of well shot, well enacted scenes strung together to make a film. Each actor is so underused that it makes your blood boil, for you know their worth and have seen them strut their talent. The film so often moves away from the base plot, like the factory workers strike to the inconsequential rigged slot machines.

Having seen Sodderberg’s works, you know that his films are a product of careful calculations. This is quite the reason the film fails to make a mark in your head, the calculations are far too many.

However, there is so much happening in the film, that all the nitty-gritty gets overlooked. In the first place, Danny’s troupe, dressed in their Armani’s, sweep you off your feet. The presence of Al Pacino is like the icing on the cake. The areas where the cameras are placed and what they capture, is another factor that makes this film shine through the wall.

The cinematography, the crisp editing, all leave you with a drooping jaw. One of the most difficult aspects in a film is to carry off a split screen of multiple actions with class. This film is a fine example. Also, Las Vegas has hardly ever before been captured with such refinement on screen.

The beauty of the film is that not much is left open ended, meant for discussion. Like a good watch, it has an opening, body and a justified end. Though, one would have liked it to go on for longer, considering the fact it’s been long since a heist film released (Fool n Final is not even in the running!).

Clooney, Pitt, Damon and the whole cast put up a great performance, but then all of them have done better in various other films. Though Pacino rocks through his role, you long to see more. The absence of a female actor is heavily felt, even with Bank’s Secretary, who is the only one who has a small, sorry role.

The act at the box office is not going to be a long lasting one, due to the release of a number of films this week and the following one. Additionally, the zero buzz will have the film raking in money only in major cities and multiplexes.

On the whole, Ocean’s Thirteen is film that under no circumstances should be missed. The starvation caused due to the lack of a good heist film is finally over.