OCEAN'S THIRTEEN (film) was lazy and underwhelming
Director: Steven Soderbergh.
Cast: George Clooney / Brad Pitt / Matt Damon / Andy Garcia / Don Cheadle / Casey Affleck / Scott Caan / Elliott Gould / Al Pacino / Bernie Mac.
Content Rating: PG 13 for brief sensuality.
Danny Ocean rounds up the boys for a third heist, after casino owner Willy Bank double-crosses one of the original eleven, Reuben Tishkoff.
I loved Ocean's Eleven, and while Ocean's Twelve was disappointing and flawed in many places, it wasn't bad either.
But Ocean's Thirteen was probably the worst out of the trilogy.
The dialogue was still pretty decent, but the plot/story was weaker, lazier, less intelligent, and not as tight as the other plots had been in the previous films. It wasn't as exciting or gripping, and the film started without proper set-up or back story; which, despite previous films, it still needed to make known.
The lightning was garish, and there wasn't a single beautiful shot in the movie. Even the good-looking guys (yes, most of the cast...) looked washed-out or sweaty.
The acting was still solid, and the cast is, without a doubt, as stellar as they come; at least in name. But the characters were as flat as they've ever been, with the mild exception of Casey Affleck's Virgil whom I rather fell in love with and who was given more screen time than the previous films had allotted him. I wholeheartedly appreciated that.
Matt Damon's Linus was delightful comic relief, but again, not even the strong cast could save characters that had been reduced to cheapened, one-dimensional "stereotypes" (I use the word loosely).
I'd even go as far as to say they were boring.
The lack of female presence was solely felt. Ellen Barkin was obviously only there to give Matt Damon's character a chance at romance, and she was weak, unnecessary, and one-dimensional.
My main issue with Thirteen is this: It came across too self-absorbed and self-obsessed with being as slick, smooth, and cool as the first film, that it failed to deliver quality; in terms of both character and plot. I got the impression that the writers were too self-assured of their stellar cast and the cool, smooth intelligence displayed in the other films, that they neglected true quality and substance and were now content with a threadbare plot and lazy character arcs. Does that make sense? It was as if they were so confident of people coming into their casinos, that they'd now forgotten to add money to be won.
The Ocean's series should have stopped at Eleven: without a doubt the strongest of the three films.
Twelve was pushing it, Thirteen was killing it. And while this film wasn't bad, it wasn't good either.