(yes I skipped over Ocean’s 12, I’m weird like that)
When I watch a movie, there are few things quite as satisfying as watching the bad guy get what he/she has coming to them; the more drawn out the comeuppance is, the better. So it should be no surprise that after discovering the glory that was Ocean’s 11 (2001), I absolutely fell head-over-heels for Ocean’s 13 (2007), because this story is all about sweet, sweet revenge!
The story finds Danny Ocean and his crew out for vengeance after Willy Bank (Al Pacino) screws Reuben (Elliot Gould) out of his share of a new casino, causing Reuben to have a near-fatal heart attack. Because Bank “shook hands with Sinatra”, Ocean gives Bank one chance to make things right, but when Bank refuses…excuse the pun, but all bets are off!
Fast forward several months and Bank’s new casino is ready to open, but Danny and co. are ready with a genius plan to ruin the new casino and put Bank out of business for good. This plan has so many layers it’s a little dizzying at times, but in brief the plan involves:
- Convincing a large number of high-rollers to withdraw from the casino
- Sabotaging the experience for the reviewer responsible for determining if the hotel-casino will win a big award
- Rigging the slot machines to pay-out on command
- Rigging the card shuffling machines, using gimmicked dice, loaded roulette balls, etc. to ensure huge payouts
- Slipping Bank a phone with a hidden magnetron that will short out the A.I. monitoring activity on the casino floor
- Using a giant boring machine to simulate an earthquake, forcing everyone to leave with their winnings and not come back.
- And last, but certainly not least, after reluctantly crawling to Terry Benedict for additional financing, they have to steal a set of valuable diamonds from the top of the casino as well.
George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and everyone else knock it out of the park yet again with this one. There is a hilarious scene where Rusty (Brad Pitt) comes in with new intel and discovers that Danny has been watching Oprah…while drinking wine. I could seriously watch a movie with just those two characters talking about stuff, and I would love it.
The revelation of what Linus’ dad does for a cover is genius! (Linus is right when he says his dad has “the greatest cover of all time”) The whole phone conversation that he has with his dad regarding the nose is just hysterical (“No I’m not giving the phone to Danny” *Rusty holds out his hand* “Not giving it to Rusty either.”)
But Al Pacino is just brilliant as the too-greedy-for-his-own-good casino owner Willy Bank. He’s so engrossed in the grand opening that by the time he figures out he’s been screwed…there’s absolutely nothing he can do to stop it. And it’s just beautiful to watch.
I do have one small gripe however: the reveal of Toulour (the thief from Ocean’s 12) being hired by Benedict to steal the diamonds; it’s not bad per se, I just wish that they’d kept the deleted scene in that included the pair meeting so that we had some idea that they were working together.
Ocean’s Thirteen is highly entertaining, and I recommend it to everyone! Have a great rest of the day!
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