Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ocean's Twelve - 2004

I fully expect a bunch of people to disagree with me on this one, but I think "Ocean's Twelve" is a good movie.

I know, I know, I can hear people now. "I didn't like it as much as 11, or 13!" "It wasn't the same kind of movie!" "Entertainment Weekly put it on their list of 25 Worst Sequels Ever!" Well, just because you didn't like it as much as 11 or 13 doesn't mean it isn't a good movie. And yes, it was a different kind of movie. (And Entertainment Weekly is full of shit on this one.)

See, the first "Ocean's" film in the modern era was meant to be an homage to the swinging sixties. When they came back to do "Thirteen," they did another sixties style film, akin to the first one. But "Twelve" is something rather different. "Twelve" is a seventies-style European movie.

If you look at even the very way that 11 and 13 are shot, and compare them to 12, you'll see the difference immediately. All three films use very saturated color and bright palettes, but 11 and 13 are very crisp looking movies, whereas a lot of 12 is very grainy. 11 and 13 are going for pop, and 12 is going for a low sizzle. Much of 11 is set under the neon jungle of Las Vegas, but 12 is set all over Europe.

Also, I appreciate all of the short hand that stuck around from the first movie. We get to see Danny and Rusty finishing each other's sentences, and it reinforces point that these guys know each other so very well. And the scene of all the guys arguing about how Benedict called it "Ocean's Eleven" is absolutely priceless. "It's just, I thought we agreed to call it The Benedict Job." Man, it kills me every time.

In the end, I think people were expecting 12 to be exactly like 11, and that isn't what happened. Each of the three films is somebody's movie. The first film is Danny's movie. The last film is Reuben's movie. And the middle film, well, it's Rusty's movie. Everything is a little more complicated, a little more likely to go off the rails, and requires a little bit more trust. Those of you who only saw it once, go back and watch it again, and try to keep an open mind about it this time. I think you'll be surprised how good it is...

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