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Spotlight on: Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Twelve

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Ocean's Twelve Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Twelve

Made from an original screenplay that was modified to fit the characters after the success of its predecessor, Ocean's Twelve shows definite signs of wearing out its welcome. However, it still manages to be quite a bit of fun, especially when it dips into the Hollywood palette for inspiration.

Ocean's Twelve's thin plot require Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia, his talent wasted in this non-role) to want his money back bad enough (even though insurance covered his losses) to threaten the original "Ocean's 11" (a title the press uses and everyone but Danny is tired of hearing) into pulling off another job -- since they've already spent most of the money. This leads to a competition with The Night Fox (French star Vincent Cassell) when he reaches their target, the home of a recluse (a cameo by Jeroen Krabbe) before they do.

Meanwhile, Rusty's (Brad Pitt) ex-girlfriend, Isabel Lahiri (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, who manages to somehow look younger in each of her successive pictures) is on the hunt for the group and for the elusive "most successful thief of all time" -- who has some secrets of his own. This time Tess gets into the act for an unnecessary diversion involving her impersonation of a famous celebrity to whom she holds an uncanny resemblance, and another celebrity's confusion at this. It is a lot of fun, but adds nothing to the plot, merely padding the already extensive running time.

Unfortunately, without this and another shorter diversion, there would be little to recommend (Topher Grace, as himself, has the film's best line) since only Matt Damon's character Linus shows any signs of growth. Others, like Bernie Mac and Carl Reiner, seem only to be around to make an appearance and round out the dozen (Mac spends most the film in jail, and Reiner is vacillating about whether to get involved).

Working on the same budget as Ocean's Eleven, director Steven Soderbergh manages to make Ocean's Twelve feel like a smaller film, despite taking place over an entire city, instead of just one building. All in all, it's a pleasant way to kill two hours, but I don't think anyone is going to be clamoring for Ocean's Thirteen.

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