After Reuben (Elliott Gould) gets double crossed by a new business partner, Willy Bank (Al Pacino), Danny (George Clooney), Rusty (Brad Pitt) and the rest of the gang set out for payback.
I was not very impressed with Ocean’s Twelve. Granted my anticipation after Ocean’s Eleven may have been too high, it didn’t have the same heart. So going into Ocean’s Thirteen, I was a little more cautious. Maybe it was because my expectations were lower, but Ocean’s Thirteen is the sequel Ocean’s Eleven deserves.
Once again, the chemistry between not just George Clooney and Brad Pitt but the entire gang, is just so much fun. It all feels so natural, like this is just another day, another dollar. This is their third job as a group so it’s no surprise that they are as strong as ever. I’ve been amazed that throughout the entire Ocean’s series, even though the ensemble cast is very large, everyone still manages to get their own development and some sort of interaction with everyone else on the team.
The series started in Las Vegas, so it’s only natural that they return to Vegas for the last outing. Sequels have a very difficult task of needing to remain true to the original film while doing something to keep it feeling fresh. This is where Ocean’s Thirteen triumphs over Ocean’s Twelve. Twelve definitely had the right idea to change to location to Europe. However, it diverged from the core of Eleven too much. Thirteen goes back to its roots and feels much more like Eleven.
What makes this an interesting heist is that they aren’t stealing the money for themselves, but rather trying to screw Banks from his money and give it to his casino’s patrons. That is what I have liked about the Ocean’s series. This group is no doubt a group of thieves, but the are a lovable group of thieves and they have a code.
Throughout the previous Ocean’s films, Linus’ dad is regularly brought up. It is implied that he is an amazing thief and Linus (Matt Damon) gets upset every time he gets mentioned. Finally, we get to meet him and the meeting is every bit as humorous as you would expect it to be.
Ocean’s Thirteen gets back to what made Ocean’s Eleven so fun and enjoyable. They are back in Las Vegas, the job is simple, well simple from a story point of view, and the titular group is all together and are having a blast. Most the main players from the previous two films return in some capacity. This could have become a convoluted mess like Ocean’s Twelve, but thankfully it doesn’t and proves that simplicity is the key to a great heist film.
For the rest of the Ocean’s Trilogy, read my reviews for Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Twelve.
Saul: This is why revenge jobs don’t work, Daniel. You put yourself in a position you know you should walk away from but you can’t. That’s how guys die or go to jail.
Danny: Alright. So anybody want to walk away? [Everyone is silent]
Saul: I didn’t say I was walking away. Let’s gut the son of a bitch.
Cast & Crew
Steven Soderbergh – Director
Brian Koppelman – Writer
David Levien – Writer
David Holmes – Composer
George Clooney – Danny Ocean
Brad Pitt – Rusty Ryan
Al Pacino – Willy Bank
Matt Damon – Linus Caldwell
Elliott Gould – Reuben Tishkoff
Eddie Jamison – Livingston Dell
Don Cheadle – Basher Tarr
Shaobo Qin – Yen
Casey Affleck – Virgil Malloy
Scott Caan – Turk Malloy
Bernie Mac – Frank Catton
Carl Reiner – Saul Bloom
Eddie Izzard – Roman Nagel
Andy Garcia – Terry Benedict
Ellen Barkin – Abigail Sponder
David Paymer – The VUP
Olga Sosnovska – Debbie
Vincent Cassel – Francois Toulour
Bob Einstein – Agent Caldwell