Recaptures the Fun of the Original
JLFM - wrote on 05/12/13
Well this was a pleasant surprise. Ocean's Thirteen, the threequel to the excellent Ocean's Eleven and the sequel to the almost-unwatchable Ocean's Twelve, is a fun and light conclusion to the Ocean's Trilogy. It's not as much fun as the original, but it's a vast improvement over the terrible sequel. Third chapters hardly ever work, but I commend Ocean's Thirteen for overcoming that trend.
The Ocean group (with the exception of Tess and Isabel) are brought together when Reuben is in poor health due to a massive shock received from being cheated of the rights of a hotel-casino he was planning to open. The con man responsible, Willy Bank, plans to open the hotel-casino himself, and win the prized Five Diamond award as well. Of course, the Ocean gang devise a devious plan of revenge that's every bit as satisfying for the Oceans, as it is for the audience.
Ocean's Thirteen isn't the strongest film in the trilogy, but it certainly fixes most of the problems that plagued the previous two.
For one, Tess and Isabel (the love interests for Danny Ocean and Rusty) have been completely eliminated from the script. They get a brief acknowledgement and little more. I'm grateful of this, because this completely eliminates the romance aspect. The romance was done so poorly in the first two, and this ultimately hurt the amount of fun that could be had. By throwing the romance out the window, there entire focus of the film is on pure fun.
While over half of the film is planning and set-up for the big con, there is hardly a dull moment to be found. The sheer excitement of the build-up was enough to keep me entertained. Combine that with a reasonable amount of humor, brief dilemmas, and the likeable characters, and you have a perfectly entertaining production. I was hardly ever bored, and the same could not be said for even the first Ocean's.
The plot is less confusing than that of Ocean's Twelve. The characters are just as fun as ever (though the screen time of many is far too short), and of course, the pay off at the end is very satisfying.
Still, despite many improvements, there are a few flaws that should not go overlooked. Like the first two, Ocean's Thirteen is more than a little implausible. Some parts are downright preposterous. Ocean's Thirteen is a smart film, but belief and common sense may need to be suspended on occasion.
And while not a direct flaw, it must be stated that Ocean's Thirteen just isn't as fun as Ocean's Eleven. It's not too far off, but I can't say I laughed as much on this third outing as I did during Ocean's Eleven. Still, Ocean's Thirteen provides it's share of fun and humor. I had a smile on my face throughout much of the film, and I was certainly enjoying myself.
The performances are great, though considering the lack of depth in each, they aren't as impressive. George Clooney and Brad Pitt are suitably suave as Danny Ocean and Rusty Ryan respectively. Matt Damon as Linus is as likeable as ever, and new additions to the cast are just as likeable.
The score by David Holmes is actually a huge improvement over both previous scores for the series. Like the film, it's fun and will make you smile, though those looking for any depth or true sophistication should look elsewhere.
Ocean's Thirteen is an indisputable improvement over Ocean's Twelve, while recapturing the easy fun of Ocean's Eleven. Easy to like and rarely dull, I had a great time watching Ocean's Thirteen. I didn't think I would ever say this, but now I want an Ocean's Fourteen.