Danny Ocean wants to score the biggest heist in history. He combines an eleven member team, including Frank Catton, Rusty Ryan and Linus Caldwell. Their target? The Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand. All casinos owned by Terry Benedict. It's not going to be easy, as they plan to get in secretly and out with $150 million. Written by
Ok, so maybe the original 1960s film was just an excuse for Frank and his buddies to hang out and make some money out of it, but it was still a smash hit. Lets face it, if they had all just been sitting there doing nothing it would still have been a highly successful film. People would have paid to see them organise their sock draws. However, this time around with a brand new script and an immensely prosperous cast and crew we have ended up with a film ten times better than the original.
In the case of this adaption we are safe in the knowledge that the actors at least wanted to be there and that they all had fun making it. Firstly because of the fact that they all took pay cuts so that it could happen and secondly because it comes across on screen. The easy friendship between Clooney, Pitt, Roberts et al shines throughout the film and seems to draw the audience in to their inner circle. We know they had a good time filming it just as we are having a good time watching it.
It is easy to say that this is THE coolest film of the year. From the phenomenal script and direction from Steven Soderbergh to the impeccable easy going performances of the 'stars' - yes every single one of them! With so many big names you would expect some rivalry yet there is no scene hogging in sight. It is clear to see that they are all willing to share the limelight. The fact is that there is no main character or personality. They are all in it together - reflecting the sense of the film in real life. This is the first concept the audience sees from the poster. The names are printed in alphabetical order. Nobody is given priority. Clooney plays Danny Ocean with the same self - confidence, composure and unmistakable coll that hasn't been seen since Sinatra himself. All the other characters are brand new, that is except for the character of Tess Ocean (Julia Roberts). In the 60s original Tess, played by Angie Dickinson, is Ocean's defender (to some extent). However, Roberts' re-vamped character is more self assured and unmoved by Ocean's charm. Rusty (Pitt) is rarely seen without snack in hand and the suit are certainly something to look at. He may be a new character but he is still played in the carefree manner typical of the Rat Pack.
It is refreshing to sit and watch a film such as this and not have to suffer the usual barrage of swearing and violence. The lack of such profanities only increases its wide appeal. It just goes to show that it can be done and that films do not neccessarily need it.
Ocean's Eleven is not your typical heist movie. To start with there are eleven people working together all with specific, indispensable jobs to do. Yet the mood is still light hearted which makes it even more compelling to watch. The inspired direction and flowing script assure that there is never a dull moment and that every scene is important, as is every character. There are also a couple of cameo appearances from some other big names to look out for.
Admittedly there is a bad side as there is in every film. In this instance it is Don Cheadles's cockney accent. Nice try but not quite right!
This is a film that will keep you fascinated the entire time you are watching. It does not conform to the conventional values of the genre that we have come to expect. The twists and turns guarantee that by the end you will be sitting there thinking 'that was really clever'. Perhaps it isn't quite what you would expect from such a star studded cast and an Oscar winning director. But that is why it is so much better than the archetypal Hollywood blockbusters that we have come to expect.
This is no run of the mill film. It was not about money or self promotion. It was about having fun and enjoying the job. Ocean's Eleven is not a film that will be forgotten seconds after you have seen it. It will live forever as the epitome of cool for years to come.
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