Sunday, September 09, 2007

Ocean's Thirteen

2007, US, directed by Steven Soderbergh

After the oh-so-self-conscious second episode, the Ocean's franchise gets back to relative basics for its third installment, essentially a re-run of the enjoyable first film, showcasing a monstrously complicated heist that, of course, seems breezily simple for George Clooney and his crew. Director Steven Soderbergh indulges his taste for Traffic-style intercutting with some of the side stories (most obviously a semi-comic tale of labour unrest in Mexico fueled by one of the heist crew), though the complexity of the heist and the number of players means that the story shuttles around hyper-actively, proving quite distracting at times.

While a passing acquaintance with the previous films - and particularly the first installment - doesn't hurt, given the only half-explained backstories that link certain of the characters, the Ocean's trilogy has nothing like the web of interconnections that renders the maligned Pirates of the Caribbean franchise so much more fun to watch again; where those films seem to build towards a kind of resolution, Ocean's Thirteen is condemned to repetition of its own past glories.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States