Ocean's Thirteen 

"You don't run the same gag twice," instructs munitions wizard Basher Tarr (Don Cheadle) in Ocean's Thirteen. "You run the next gag."

Director Steven Soderbergh and his band of brothers don't take their own advice for this third installment of the caper franchise, in which George Clooney's Danny Ocean and Brad Pitt's Rusty Ryan lead their band of criminals through assorted heists and scams.

After an artier, more indulgent, audience-alienating European trip for Ocean's Twelve, Soderbergh and crew return to Vegas for a naked attempt at repeating the considerable charms of their original Ocean's Eleven (itself a remake of a lazy Rat Pack flick), and the gambit works well enough.

Soderbergh has made more prestigious pictures (picking up a Best Director Oscar for his drug-trade epic Traffic), but Ocean's Eleven is his most durably entertaining work, maybe the most purely entertaining movie of the decade. Finding a midway point between the energizing style-and-substance of Ocean's Eleven and the slack navel-gazing of Ocean's Twelve, Ocean's Thirteen is a diminished retread of the initial effort but still quite engaging.

Instead of setting out for a big score, Ocean and his crew are bent on revenge this time. At the outset, Vegas mogul Willie Bank (Al Pacino) double-crosses avuncular regular Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould) out of his share of a new Vegas hotel casino. In response, Ocean and the gang reconvene to try and ruin Bank's opening night, which requires rigging every game in the casino so that the house loses.

The caper mechanics aren't quite as interesting or thought-through this time, though there are plenty of memorable bits: Casey Affleck's Virgil Malloy is sent to a Mexican dice factory to ensure that properly tampered product finds its way to Vegas and instead foments a workers' revolt. This fantasy land is also more of a boys' club than ever: With Julia Roberts MIA, Ellen Barkin moves in as the film's designated female character but is stuck playing only one side of the fence — the wrong one.

Now playing; multiple locations

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Lady Bird

      Greta Gerwig directs Saoirse Ronan in the dazzling coming of age comedy
    • Thor: Ragnarok

      Taika Waititi takes The God of Thunder in a comedic direction

Blogs

Tiger Blue

21 Thoughts on Tiger Football

Tiger Blue

Tigers 63, New Orleans 52

Beyond the Arc

Blazers 100, Grizzlies 92: Five Thoughts

Hungry Memphis

South Main Market grand opening Dec. 2

From My Seat

Frank's Memphis Sports Thanksgiving

Hungry Memphis

Sunrise opening Nov. 27

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Herrington

  • Last Words

    In "Enough Said," James Gandolfini makes his last lead film role his best.
    • Sep 26, 2013
  • Hayes Carll at the Hi-Tone

    • Sep 19, 2013
  • Masters of Sound

    New albums from two of Memphis’ most distinctive stylists.
    • Sep 19, 2013
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Eye In The Sky

    Remote controlled warfare picture misses the mark
    • Apr 7, 2016
  • The Lost City of Z

    A mesmerizing story of obsession in the Amazon jungle
    • May 1, 2017
  • Knight Of Cups

    Adrift in images with Terrance Malick
    • Apr 12, 2016
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation