Ocean’s Twelve

Year: 2004
Production Co: Section Eight
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Producer: Steven Soderbergh/George Clooney
Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta Jones, Andy Garcia, Elliot Gould, Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, Bernie Mac, Scott Caan
George Clooney remarked during an interview about the performance of Solaris that it didn't do any good, and so they (he and Soderbergh) were stuck with doing Ocean's Twelve to try and recoup some of the losses.

If it was any other studio hack director, one could've brushed Ocean's Twelve off as being any other sequel cash in, but there was too much to like about Ocean's Eleven not to be excited.

The danger in doing anything with so many characters to keep in focus is that you run the risk of it ending up very episodic and in the end confusing - both Love, Actually and Gosford Park were like it (although intended to some degree).

The only time Soderbergh falls victim to it is when Benedict (Garcia) rounds up the crims he's tracked down from the ripoff of the first film, telling them all he wants his money back with interest.

Soderbergh then manages to throw even more main characters into the mix - ex lover of Rusty (Pitt) and dedicated Interpol agent Isabel (Zeta Jones), and master thief shown up on his own turf Cassell.

Too 'hot' to work in America, the team head to Europe for a series of heists designed to pay back their fearsome opponent, landing in hot water with Isabel as she comes closer to nailing them all.

Something is missing from this film about the slickness of the aesthetic that made the first one so accessible, The characters are all intact, but the plot isn't as clear and while Soderbergh and co have obviously gone to pains to make sure they don't produce the same movie twice, much of the distinctive flavour is gone.

The in joke of Tess looking like Julia Roberts is a huge sore point too - it was silly enough having it there to start with, but it went on far too long, possibly at the urging of Bruce Willis.

The 'who's cleverer than who' one-upmanship also wears a bit thin and completely castrates Zeta Jones' character as she effortlessly moves into the fold of the gang when they prove to have outwitted her.

Unlucky twelve, in this case.

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