ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Should I Watch..? Ocean's Twelve

Updated on August 28, 2018
Benjamin Cox profile image

Benjamin is a full-time carer and former volunteer DJ at his local hospital radio station. He has been reviewing films for over ten years.

Promotional poster for "Ocean's Twelve"
Promotional poster for "Ocean's Twelve" | Source

What's the big deal?

Ocean's Twelve is a comedy heist film released in 2004 and is the sequel to the 2001 remake of Rat Pack classic Ocean's Eleven. Like its predecessor, it was directed by Steven Soderbergh and features a large ensemble cast comprised of a large list of Hollywood A-listers. The film concerns the efforts of casino owner Terry Benedict to recover the money stolen by Danny Ocean's gang in the first film, forcing the rogues to Europe to engage in a high-stakes battle of wits against a master criminal known as The Night Fox. The film received mixed reviews when it was released and grossed a worldwide total of $362 million, much less than Ocean's Eleven but still enough to make the film the tenth highest grossing movie of the year.

Forgettable

2 stars for Ocean's Twelve

What's it about?

Casino owner Terry Benedict, still angry after being robbed and duped by Danny Ocean, tracks down the various members of Danny's gang and demands his $160 million back plus another $38 million in interest - otherwise, things are going to get really nasty. Reuniting and realising that they only have half the money left, they quickly decide to pull off another heist but not in the US as they are still being sought for the first robberies. Ultimately, after a tip-off, they head to Europe to steal the first-ever stock certificate.

Unfortunately for them, it has already been stolen by master criminal The Night Fox who wishes to engage Danny and his team in a battle of wits - he tasks them with stealing a priceless Fabergé egg and if they can do this, he will settle their debt with Benedict. Things get even more complicated when Rusty's ex, Europol Detective Isabel Lahiri, arrives on the scene and quickly begins to make life difficult for Rusty, Danny and the rest. Looks like the con is back on...

Trailer

Main Cast

Actor
Role
George Clooney
Danny Ocean
Brad Pitt
Rusty Ryan
Andy Garcia
Terry Benedict
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Isabel Lahiri
Matt Damon
Linus Caldwell
Bernie Mac
Frank Catton
Julia Roberts
Tess Ocean / herself
Don Cheadle
Basher Tarr
Elliot Gould
Rueben Tishkoff
Vincent Cassel
Baron François Toulour / Night Fox

Technical Info

Director
Steven Soderbergh
Screenplay
George Nolfi *
Running Time
125 minutes
Release Date (UK)
4th February, 2005
Genre
Comedy, Crime
* character created by George Clayton Johnson & Jack Golden Russell
The inclusion of Zeta-Jones (left) feels almost inevitable...
The inclusion of Zeta-Jones (left) feels almost inevitable... | Source

What's to like?

It's like they never left, as though the film carried on unseen by cinema audiences the world over and only now decided to reintroduce them to us. Ocean's Twelve matches the same effortless levels of cool established in the first film with characters, costumes, locations and dialogue all gliding along with the grace of an Olympic ice skater. Like before, Clooney and Pitt have the majority of the action and dialogue on screen and still combine to make a genuinely interesting pairing, one that's especially easy on the eye.

Speaking of which, Zeta-Jones slots into the film's ensemble with the precision of a Swiss watch and does well as Lahiri, the Europol detective who always seems to be one step behind her prey. But the best thing is the view - instead of the neon lights and gaudy imitations of Las Vegas, the film gives us the real thing by shooting in some truly beautiful parts of Italy and this gives the film a little touch of class that it desperately needs.

Fun Facts

  • While shooting in Rome, Pitt and Clooney were out jogging when they became caught in a storm. Returning to their hotel, the doorman refused them entry as he thought they were homeless vagrants.
  • Clint Eastwood was suggested for a cameo as Linus's father Bobby Caldwell. In the end, the scene was shot with Peter Fonda in the role but it was ultimately cut from the final picture.
  • Despite the mixed critical reception, director Soderbergh maintains that this is his favourite entry in the Ocean's trilogy.

What's not to like?

The problem with the first film was the overwhelming sense of smug satisfaction wafting through the picture. It just about got away with it by having a decent story with a satisfying conclusion but alas, Ocean's Twelve badly misses the boat. The smugness is positively rampant this time around, even if most of the cast are forced into mere cameos in order to accommodate George and Brad's ever-growing egos. I can't ever recall a scene that utilised the characters played by Carl Reiner, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Eddie Jemison as well as the apparent appearances by Eddie Izzard, Robbie Coltrane, Topher Grace or Cherry Jones. Where were they all?

But the biggest let-down, besides not finding the time or space to fit so many stars in, was the story which is so needlessly convoluted as to almost be surplus to requirements. The whole film seems to happen in such a way that the action would have resolved itself regardless of what the characters actually did. Instead of being clever, the film delivers a false narrative from the start meaning that when the ending arrives, you feel cheated and angry because everything you've just seen feels pointless. If all I wanted from a film was to look at pretty celebrities in fancy locations, I would have flicked through an issue of OK! or Hello! or some other piece of narcissistic trash masquerading as journalism. What I wanted from Ocean's Twelve was an entertaining heist flick but like the victim of a robbery, I too was left empty-handed.

Italy's Lake Como provides a stunning backdrop for the equally fabulous stars to shine.
Italy's Lake Como provides a stunning backdrop for the equally fabulous stars to shine. | Source

Should I watch it?

Unless you're interested in a bunch of celebrities appearing in what feels like a slideshow of holiday photos then I suggest staying well clear of Ocean's Twelve. Devoid of the intelligence of the first film and helplessly pandering to the egos of its stars, the film is a massive disappointment on every level - lacking in charm, wit and atmosphere. This might have been a classic with a much better screenplay but this self-indulgent trip to Europe's prettiest locations feels forced, uninteresting and dishonest. It is, to spell it out bluntly, nowhere near as good as the first film.

Great For: celeb spotters, anyone thinking of going to Italy on holiday, George Clooney and Brad Pitt's ego

Not So Great For: fans of the first film, George Nolfi's reputation, anyone trying to follow the story

What else should I watch?

The next, and possibly final, film was the desperate-sounding Ocean's Thirteen but my experience with this wretched sequel has dissuaded me from watching it any time soon. And despite the current trend for all-female remakes, the Ocean's Eight spin-off seems unnecessary to me - these films seem to appeal to both genders equally so what was the point? Happily, this leaves us with the one that started it all - Ocean's Eleven marries up the coolness of its stars with a brilliant script written by Ted Griffin and a wonderfully retro atmosphere that might cause viewers to recall the 1960 Rat Pack original Ocean's 11. It is, in every respect, far superior to this lame love-in.

Rome has often featured in films which either plunder the cities Ancient Roman heritage or exploits their legacy in a more contemporary tale. The Talented Mr Ripley (coincidentally also starring Matt Damon), Nine or even the sequel to The Da Vinci Code - Angels And Demons - are all better films than Ocean's Twelve and all of them offer something different like an intelligent thriller, a musical melodrama or a semi-religious piece of conspiracy nonsense.

© 2015 Benjamin Cox

Soap Box

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Pat Mills 

      2 years ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      This is a sequel that is superfluous. Ocean's 11 was no great shakes, but at least it was enjoyable, unlike this sequel or the one that followed.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)