Rewatchability. Some movies have it, some don’t. The 2001 remake of the Rat Pack classic “Ocean’s Eleven” had—and has—it. Each time you watch it, you see something new. It’s got rewatchability.
The same crew that made “Ocean’s Eleven” now returns with “Ocean’s Twelve.” When the first movie ended, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and Tess (Julia Roberts) were reunited after Danny got out of prison. Danny and his crew were then supposed to lay low after heisting millions of dollars from Terry Benedict’s (Andy Garcia) casino.
“Ocean’s Twelve” opens with Danny and Tess living quietly in Connecticut. But when Danny goes into a local bank, he finds himself scoping it out. You can’t take the theft out of the thief.
You also can’t steal millions of dollars and get away with it—at least not in this sequel. Benedict reappears and is obviously mad. He wants his money back, with interest. He gives Ocean two weeks to get the money or he and his team will be killed.
Danny gets the crew back together for a “job” that will repay their debt to Benedict. What follows, however, isn’t just a heist film, but a heist film laced with “one-upmanship.”
There may not be honor among thieves, but there is a code—and some large and fragile egos. It’s here that “Twelve” introduces another thief who has been upset by the revelation that Danny’s crew pulled the “perfect crime.”
This thief, wanting to demonstrate who the better of the two is, offers Danny a challenge: Be the first to steal a valuable Faberge egg, and Danny’s debt to Benedict will be repaid in full.
The movie races over Europe, with a beautiful cop (Catherine Zeta-Jones) on Ocean and company’s tail. It seems that Rusty (Brad Pitt), Danny’s right-hand man, has fallen in love with her. The feeling is mutual, but she feels her job is more important than love’s entanglements.
“Twelve” continues in the same tradition as its predecessor. Twists and turns happen before our eyes, but we don’t know what has actually taken place until the end.
A first concern about “Twelve” also applied to “Eleven”: One cannot condone thievery.
Another concern has to do with diversity. “Eleven” showed us that diversity was good and could make things happen—not a bad message when some in our culture bemoan variety. Diversity gets watered down in “Twelve,” though. We don’t see as much interplay between these different characters, and some of their quirks and jokes are lost on those without the back-story from “Eleven.”
In the end, however, the movie is entertaining. And the viewer has to pay close attention or risk missing something important. “Twelve” doesn’t rate as highly as “Eleven” in terms of rewatchability, but when the final credits roll, it’s still relatively easy to say, “I must have missed something.”
Mike Parnell is pastor of Beth Car Baptist Church in Halifax, Va.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language.
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: George Nolfi
Cast: DannyOcean: George Clooney; TessOcean: Julia Roberts; Rusty Ryan: Brad Pitt; Terry Benedict: Andy Garcia; Isabel Lahiri: Catherine Zeta-Jones; Frank Catton: Bernie Mac; Basher Tarr: Don Cheadle; Linus Caldwell: Matt Damon; Rueben Tishoff: Elliot Gould.
The movie’s official Web site is here.