Ocean's Twelve (2005)

Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta Jones, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Albert Finney, Elliot Gould, Vincent Cassel

Directed by: Stephen Soderbergh

Rating: 1 2

George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt in Ocean's Twelve

Ocean's Eleven was a great film: smart, clever, classy, audacious and glamorous. Ocean's Twelve is like Ocean's Eleven but. crap.

Three years after their dazzling heist at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, we catch up with the infamous Eleven as they attempt to settle into their new million dollar lifestyles. Unfortunately we're not the only ones - Bellagio boss Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) has also tracked them down, and he wants his money back. with interest. In order to find them, he has enlisted the help of infamous European master thief the Nightfox.

Um, hang on a sec. Did I really say 'infamous European master thief the Nightfox'? 'Fraid so, because, whilst Ocean's Eleven was a slick modern take on an old fashioned story, Ocean's Twelve is just plain old fashioned, and plain stupid with it.

Brad Pitt as Rusty and Catherine Zeta Jones as Isabel Lahiri in Ocean's Twelve

The daft 1960s plot lurches lumpily between the blindingly obvious and the completely baffling, along the way expecting us to believe that it's plausible to conduct a five million pound engineering project in order to steal a two million pound antique, and demanding that we swallow substandard Pink Panther codswallop about super cunning continental masters of disguise who dance their way through rotating laser beams in order to steal stupid unfenceable objects like zillion dollar Fabergé eggs. Perhaps it's, you know, tongue in cheek, ironic, and therefore clever. But as I've noted before, there's a fine line between clever and stupid. And an even finer line between stupid and insulting.

Not even the stellar cast can save the day. With so many super egos battling for screen time, unsurprisingly nobody gets a chance to shine. Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Don Cheadle and Matt Damon ham it up like pantomime dames, whilst George Clooney (real age 43, fact fans) and Catherine Zeta Jones look vaguely bored the whole way through, reciting their lines as if they're reading them from the side of a cereal box. And who knows, perhaps we'd have had a better film if they had.

Elliot Gould - the saving grace of Ocean's Twelve

Even cameos from Robbie Coltrane, Eddie Izzard and Albert Finney fall flat (the latter so embarrassed by the whole thing he appears uncredited), although I do still like Elliot Gould as goggle-specced Reuben Tishkoff.

Lazy, overly long and hugely self-indulgent (I'm sorry, but the hilarious 'Julia Roberts playing Tess playing Julia Roberts' wheeze is just plain embarrassing, although guest star Bruce Willis is very good humoured about the whole thing) Ocean's Twelve is a prime example of a film that's gone down with an uncurable case of sequelitis. Did you ever notice that 'heist' is an anagram of 'shite'? Neither did I. 'til now.

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