“… picking up the slack that Ocean’s Twelve left behind.”
The Ocean’s franchise has been on one hell of a rollercoaster so far, and Ocean’s Thirteen continues that trend by delivering a movie that is infinitely better than Ocean’s Twelve, but not quite as good as Ocean’s Eleven. Ocean’s Thirteen picks up a little while after the second film and follows the crew as they are tasked with seeking revenge for one of their members. The target? A wealthy casino owner who screwed one of their friends out of a share of his new casino and in turn sent him into a catatonic state. But really all of this is just surface-level set up for the heist.
In my opinion Ocean’s Thirteen struck a brilliant balance between the feel of the first and second movie. It kept the high stakes heist portions from the first movie, but added in a lot of the zanier moments from the second movie. I would say that this balance is a lot more bearable than what we got in Ocean’s Twelve, but it’s still inferior to Ocean’s Eleven. I really liked how the movie felt like a continuation of the story rather than just another instalment by including recurring characters and references that anybody who watched the other movies would get. This not only built up the world that is present in the films, but also increased the audiences connection to the film itself.
I will admit that the beginning of the film, the set up, was terribly rushed. Not twenty minutes in and we were already completely immersed in the heist. I guess it makes sense becasue we are past having to introduce characters and everything, but it still felt way too fast. That being said once we got into the heist it was easy to forget about this shortcoming. The story itself was a logical step for the crew behind the Ocean’s movies, becasue it not only takes the story to a personal level, but it also gives the gang their toughest challenge yet. It’s killing two birds with one stone, essentially picking up the slack that Ocean’s Twelve left behind.
Of course I don’t need to discuss the characters becasue they are all from the other films, but I will say that I felt Al Pacino was a pretty great villain. I admit he was pretty one-note, but that note was impending enough that I bought his character. And the feel of the movie is back to what it should be, back to what was introduced in Ocean’s Eleven. I think this has one real factor to blame: Vegas. Ocean’s Eleven was a movie about Vegas as much as it was a movie about a robbery. Ocean’s Twelve lost this by taking the crew all over Europe, and in turn the movie suffered. But Ocean’s Thirteen recaptured that feel and really brought the franchise back to its roots.
Overall Ocean’s Thirteen is far from a perfect movie, but it is enjoyable. It doesn’t hold a candle to Ocean’s Eleven, but it is leagues better than Ocean’s Twelve which is really all I could have asked for.
I give Ocean’s Thirteen a B