|SHADOWS ON THE WALL | REVIEWS | NEWS | FESTIVAL | AWARDS | Q&A | ABOUT | TALKBACK|
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E||
dir Steven Soderbergh|
scr Brian Koppelman, David Levien
with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin, Andy Garcia, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould, Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Bernie Mac, Eddie Jemison, Shaobo Qin, Eddie Izzard, Julian Sands, Vincent Cassel, David Paymer, Bob Einstein, Oprah Winfrey
release US/UK 8.Jun.07
07/US Warner 2h02
Three amigos: Pitt, Clooney and Damon
Clooney and friends are back for another heist romp that's refreshingly free from the pretentiousness of most starry Hollywood movies. Sure, it couldn't be much more self-indulgent, but the fun is infectious.
When Reuben (Gould) is double-crossed by business partner Willy Bank (Pacino), he ends up in hospital. So his friends, led by Danny Ocean (Clooney), come to the rescue with an elaborate plan to turn the grand opening of Bank's posh Vegas resort into a nightmare. This involves rigging the tables and slot machines so the house loses its shirt, sabotaging the hotel's luxury ranking and wreaking general havoc on the big night. But it'll take Ocean's whole gang to accomplish this, plus some help from an old nemesis (Garcia).
After the fragmented incoherence of part 2, this film returns to a more straightforward narrative, which lets us get much more involved with the story, even though it's so busy that the enormous cast of characters never get a chance to develop at all (unlike part 2). In other words, it's thoroughly entertaining to watch these guys plot and then execute their elaborate sting, which cleverly doesn't actually involve stealing any money. It's more like a Robin Hood exercise, sharing the villain's wealth with all and sundry.
For British audiences, it's Izzard who gets the film's best laugh, when he calls Clooney and Pitt "the Morecambe and Wise of thievery". This reference to the classic comic double-act is just about right; this entire ensemble have honed their deadpan comic skills to perfection, making the most of daft costumes, goofy makeup and farcical situations in a subtle, classy, profoundly silly way. It's always wonderful to see Reiner's comical genius in all its hilarious glory, while Affleck and Caan get several hysterical moments of their own.
Soderbergh assembles the film with an effortless sheen, groovy editing, a purring song score and some astonishingly seamless digital effects. But it's all about the simple joy of the scam, the cheeky camaraderie of the characters and the gleeful satisfaction of seeing a true baddie get his just desserts. No, there's nothing else to it. And that feels just right.
|Still waiting for your comments ... don't be shy.|
© 2007 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
HOME | REVIEWS | NEWS | FESTIVAL | AWARDS | Q&A | ABOUT | TALKBACK