Ocean's Thirteen

Oh, do I love it when Soderbergh just sits back and has some fun with his boys.

I refuse to apologize for it, either. The Ocean films might not be high art, perhaps, they might not have any important message or central theme or whatever, but they're pure, undiluted fun. More importantly, perhaps, they don't confuse being fun with dumbing down and making fart jokes. Instead, this film, like the others, finds the fun in nice small character moments: Danny and Rusty finishing each other's sentences and sniffling over Oprah, Roman's competitor being called Greco, Virgil leading a Mexican worker's revolt, Basher's letters, Linus' nose, I could go on. Soderbergh himself, in the meantime, amuses himself as "Peter Andrews" by going crazy with color filters, strange angles, overlays, even a split screen at some point.

Not everything works, of course. The big seduction of Ellen Barkin is too puerile and vaguely reeks of sexism, even for a boys-will-be-boys movie like this. The inclusion of Toulour feels tacked on, and as much as I love seeing Vincent Cassel (francophile that I am) there should either have been more of him or none at all.

But why nitpick? I saw this in a full theatre and I'm fairly sure everyone left the movie with just a little more jaunty a step than they came in with. This is a movie about the pleasure of letting yourself be scammed: there might be nothing here, but it's a great time at the movies while it lasts, and sometimes, that's all you could ask for.

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