Less than 24 hours into his parole, charismatic thief Danny Ocean is already rolling out his next plan: In one night, Danny's hand-picked crew of specialists will attempt to steal more than $150 million from three Las Vegas casinos. But to score the cash, Danny risks his chances of reconciling with ex-wife, Tess.
I got two words for you, mini-bar. Literally fresh out of prison, Danny Ocean is busy setting up a seemingly impossible robbery. The plan, along with ten other experts he has roped in, is to rob the main vault at Las Vegas that houses the takings from the three main casinos. The original Ocean's 11 released in 1960 is an OK film, more watchable for the Vegas setting and the irrepressible cast of Rat Packers than for any purpose or structure. That this Steven Soderbergh remake trumps the original in every department is a triumph of entertainment values over pure star appeal. Some would put a case up for the cast of Soderberg's film using stars to entice the audience in? But really at the time of release it was a stretch to put George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon (all excellent here) on the same pedal stool as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin. The most striking thing about this remake is that the whole cast seem to be enjoying themselves, mainly because they are not being asked to over exert their performances from their very astute director, they really are just asked to turn up, enjoy each other's company and deliver one of the coolest pictures to have been made in the decade. The film is purely out there to entertain, it has geniality pouring out from every frame, this is a character based heist caper full of laughs and derring do shenanigans - even Don Cheadle's ill advised (and pointless character arc) cockney accent manages to create smiles instead of being an on going hindrance. Some critics said the film is far too shallow to have any real worth! What the hell do they want? So the crooks are nice guys, it's a refreshing change to see a Vegas sparkling bright without any seedy undercurrents, where these robbers aren't using AK 47s to obliterate the opposition, it's wits and dashes of cool that fills out their respective armouries. The soundtrack and scoring are themselves cool characters in the piece, whilst a big shout out goes to the bona fide stunt work from the wonderfully elastic Shaobo Qin - which merely puts another cherry on this already delightful cake. All the cast (too many to mention) are great, from Andy Garcia's suave and mean boss, Terry Benedict, to Julia Roberts' (walking like a goddess) Tess Ocean, all things in the film deliver a feel good movie that when all put together, and all things considered, is a film made by lovers of the medium for, well yes, lovers of the medium itself! 9/10
Really good watch, would watch again, and can recommend. As far as heist movies go, it's excellent, but I think I'm very picky when it comes to heist movies. In order to get me behind the criminal protagonist, it needs to be overly complex, but not complicated, and there needs to be an alternative motive, such as "get the girl". This entire franchise does a decent job of this, keeping the motives and implementations interesting. Part of the problem with that is that because of how complex the heist is, have the movie is an explanation of how the heist is going to happen (with JUST enough information left out for misdirects), then there is the actual heist, with some misdirects, and an explanation of the gaps, if not the heist itself, then a resolution. That's the formula for every heist movie ever, which is part of what makes it boring. It has to be special to really grab a audience and make it memorable. This movie does all this with a great cast, and certainly enough production value. While it is certainly really interesting and entertaining, I can't really say its a great movie. We can chalk it up as personal bias, but I do think everyone should see this version as it has some historical value and is well worth the watch.