Ocean's Thirteen (PG)



Comedy (2007)
122mins US

Starring: George Clooney, Al Pacino, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer(s): Brian Koppelman, David Levien
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Ruthless casino owner Willy Bank double-crosses Danny Ocean's good friend Reuben Tishkoff , hospitalising him and enraging the other members of the team. Danny and his associates - including card shark Rusty, Linus Caldwell and Cocker-ney explosives expert Basher Tarr - vow revenge and target the grand opening of Bank's new casino.

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LondonNet Film Review
Ocean's Thirteen

The gang is back (minus Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones) in the second sequel to Steven Soderbergh's frothy 2001 heist caper...

Matt Damon, George Clooney and Brad Pitt star in Ocean's Thirteen, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Copyright: © Warner Bros. Pictures 2006.Like its predecessors, Ocean's Thirteen is smart and sexy, trading as much on the likeability of the impeccably tailored stars as the preposterousness of the plot. This is another masterclass in style over substance, studded with expertly orchestrated action and comic set pieces.

Screenwriters Brian Koppelman and David Levien, who are new to the franchise, demonstrate a lightness of touch, explaining the convoluted storyline (usually in character dialogue) to ensure we keep up with Danny and his ridiculous scheme. There are several pleasing twists along the way but most of the enjoyment comes from the rapport between the actors, and our affection for the gang as it pickpockets victory from the jaws of defeat.

Al Pacino (Willy Bank) and Ellen Barkin (Abigail Sponder) in Oceanís Thirteen, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Photo: Melinda Sue Gordon. ©2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.-U.S., Canada, Bahamas & Bermuda - ©2006 Village Roadshow Films (BVI) Limited - All Other Ruthless casino owner Willy Bank (Al Pacino) joins forces with security expert Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould) to build his new Las Vegas casino, with the promise of a partnership once the job is complete. However, Willy double-crosses Reuben, who has invested all of his ill-gotten gains in the enterprise. "You're dead weight," sneers Willy. "You think I'm going to carry and pay you at the same time?" Reuben suffers a heart attack and is taken to hospital, where Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and the team - including card shark Rusty (Brad Pitt), master pickpocket Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon) and explosives expert Basher Tarr (Don Cheadle) - rush to Reuben's bedside.

The team vows revenge and targets the grand opening of Bank's new casino. The plan is simple: to ensure that on its first night of business, the casino suffers the biggest losses in Las Vegas history. All that stands between them and success is an artificial intelligence security system and Bank's sexy right-hand woman, Abigail Sponder (Ellen Barkin). Thankfully, Danny has enlisted the services of electronics genius Roman Nagel (Eddie Izzard) and rival casino owner Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), who has purely selfish reasons for offering assistance: "That monstrosity Bank calls a hotel casts a shadow over my pool." Game on... Ocean's Thirteen is a highly enjoyable romp which has its tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Casey Affleck (Virgil Malloy) and Don Cheadle (Basher Tarr) and Shaoba Qin (Yen) in Ocean's Thirteen, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon. 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. - - U.S., Canada, Bahamas & Bermuda © 2006 Village Roadshow Films (BVI) LimitedThe film looks splendid - the leads changing their sharp attire with dizzying frequency - apart from one awful shot with Danny, Rusty and Roman mulling over the plan as they eat, and you can clearly see the camera and crew reflected in the kitchen window.

Banter between Clooney and Pitt is littered with laughs, including a hysterical running gag about Oprah Winfrey. Damon flexes his comedic muscles and Pacino chews hungrily on the scenery as the villain of the piece, sealing his downfall when he boasts: "I don't lose. People who bet on me to lose, lose." Izzard brings dry humour to his scenes, observing that Danny and Rusty "are the Morecambe and Wise of the thievery world!" Lofty praise indeed.

- Kim Hu


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