Friday, August 10, 2007

Ocean's Eleven (Soderbergh, 2001)


Finally got around to watching this film all the way through and even though the ending had already been semi-spoiled for me (caught glimpses of it on tv several times), I still had a blast. Not a dull moment and Soderbergh directs his crime-caper in such a way that it exudes cool in every frame. It doesn't try to be anything more than an entertaining heist film which it manages to deliver in a rewarding fashion.

With such a large cast of actors, it was surprising how everyone involved managed to make the best of their precious screen-time. Danny Ocean (George Clooney) has just been released from prison for robbery and quickly feels the need to put together another heist into action as a way to chase away his guilt for getting caught last time. He meets up with his old crime buddy Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) and pitches him the idea. How can Ryan back down when the jackpot is $150 million if the robbery is successful? Knowing full well that they are going to need more people than the two of them, they persuade 9 other con-men/tech wizards to try and pull off one of the most daring heist jobs ever: To rob not one, but three Las Vegas Casino's owned by the cold-hearted Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) in one night. If that wasn't enough, these particular casino's have some of the most tightest security measures set in place making it that much more difficult to breach for the crew. The task at hand seems next to impossible with cameras everywhere, DNA passcodes from employees needed to enter certain restricted areas, advanced motion detectors, secuirty guards with heavy weaponry and not to mention: the access codes to the vaults change every two hours. Yikes! Talk about an impossible task. To complicate matters further, Danny Ocean's ex-wife Tess (Julia Roberts) happens to be a curator for Benedict's casinos and this conflict of interest threatens to jepordize the sting operation. The whole relationship angle isn't clunky and actually services the story.

Though it is fairly obvious that the film can only end one way, the outcome is cleverly executed that may even surprise some of the more skeptical of viewers. Ocean's Eleven is a harmless Hollywood affair that is quite amusing if one is willing to go along with it. Big names, high stakes, great entertainment. What more could you ask for?

[***1/2]

4 comments:

WatchingStar said...

I loved this film too. It's one of those ones, even when you know the ending, you can watch it again and again because it is just so much fun.

Krissie said...

That, and I also saw the original version, with Rat Pack, but I have to say that this one is more fun. Could be Brad Pitt's fault... lol
Anyway, I saw Ocean's 13 as well and it's fun too, but not as 11, of course.

Justine said...

I'm one of the weirdos who prefers Ocean's 13 to this, but only by a tiny bit. Even 12 is entertaining, it's a good way to spend a lazy afternoon.

Jason said...

Your right wathingstar, Oceans 11 is one of those rare films that holds up on repeat viewings even though you know what the outcome will be. It seems to be playing on network television often and I find it hard to turn away when it's on. The film is just fun, fun, fun.

I haven't seen the original Ocean's 11, Ocean's 12 or 13 yet. All in due time.