Sunday, June 10, 2007
The early arrival of my baby boy on May 15th solved a difficult conundrum for me: Peter's original due date and the release of Ocean's 13 coincided on June 8th. Of course I exaggerate the crisis-- my wife would justifiably create a much greater predicament if it were actually a conflict-- but at least it gives you a sense for the magnitude of my anticipation. With the months of giddy expectancy aside though, Ocean's 13 would have deflated my lowest expectations. Now I'm not a superstitious man, so I'll have to chalk this one up to bad writing. The predictable, lumbering plot didn't bother me as much as the flat wit and botched attempts to force comedic chemistry. Though many heaped scorn on its predecessor Ocean's 12 as a convoluted mess of a movie, it ranks as one of my favorite films because of the clever, witty banter of Ocean's gang. I'm a sucker for hilarious dialogue, and will overlook even the most egregious cinematic lapses because of it. I guess that's why I feel so let down by the latest Ocean's movie.
The undoing of Ocean's 13 was the inherent inertia in its premise. The revenge plot took so long to set up that Soderbergh was forced to cut rapidly from location to location and have characters finish each other's sentences in order to keep the pace up and avoid audible snores from the audience. There wasn't enough time left to really create the same chemistry that the all-star cast enjoyed in the last two, and the plot never recovered from the lost momentum. The finish was just as disappointing as what preceded it. My wife pointed out that it lacked the great twist of the previous two and was unable to generate even the slightest amount of suspense. Still, I guess if you put aside all comparisons with the last two, it's a mildly enjoyable movie worth a DVD rent.