I remember when I saw Ocean’s 11 in the theater. I wanted to quit the glamorous life of royalty accounting and pull off a heist. And when I saw Ocean’s 12, I remember thinking that I’d been ripped off… lead down a path just so the writer could say “haha. see how clever I am by fooling you with this improbable and non-sensical twist-for-the-sake-of-twist plot”. Ocean’s 13 treads the middle ground.
The first impression is that this movie is a road map. No twists here, just straight planning, overcoming obstacles and execution of a very very complex and multi-layered plan. The plot is is simple. Al Pacino’s villain has swindled the old school rich guy in the gang out of his share of the new hotel. The gang is pissed and out for revenge. The goal: ruin Pacino’s opening night and get their friend’s money back (and turn a tidy profit for themselves). Their plan is easily executed as plans backed with millions, unlimited inside connections and deus ex machina familial relationships can be. As long as you can manage the suspension of disbelief, you’re in for a fun ride.
The character development here is next to none… this movie hits the ground running with every belief that you know all these guys from the prior two movies. The dialogue is snappy as one would expect, but a little frustrating. Frustrating in that just when some of the characters begin a pace in their banter, the film cuts to the next set of guys. I suppose this is to be expected when you have 13+ main characters.
Cloony, Pit and Damon do their usual good jobs, but I think mostly because these characters are so much like their likable and highly marketable selves. For me, the most entertaining part of the movie involved Casey Affleck and Scott Caan’s characters. All Affleck’s character needs to do is get some metal dust in the plastics used to make dice in this little out of the way factory deep in Mexico. In doing so, he ends up sparking and running (all in Spanish no less) a workers revolucion to a pretty funny conclusion.
Most viewers will enjoy this movie immensely and then not remember much about it a week later. Still… it’ll go in the DVD library when it is released.