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:: Ocean's Thirteen

It was hard to know what might have been expected with this next Ocean's film. Series or sequels often fail to measure up. But the strength of the original Ocean's Eleven has been maintained. There is good fun amongst the action drama. The sometimes over-the-top cool trip carries the weight of George Clooney, Brad Pitt and other notable cast members.

The third in Steven Soderbergh's Ocean films tells of a Las Vegas revenge act. Reuben (Elliott Gould) is screwed out of his life savings in a deal with casino owner Willy Bank (Al Pacino), and he suffers a heart attack. Reuben's friends Danny Ocean (Clooney) and Rusty (Pitt) assemble their “gang” with the purpose of rigging Bank's new casino's big opening night so that they lose $500 million.

Therefore, much planning and several cons are needed to pull off the act. The film works well in this regard because the audience wants to see Bank's downfall and the story is complex and thrilling. It will hook you in. Of course, anything less than a massive undertaking by Ocean and his team just wouldn't be cool.

The characters are cool, which the audience would demand. The film delivers on that score alone. This is probably the type of sequel that fans have wanted; even more so that Ocean'e Twelve perhaps. Las Vegas is a place in itself and the characters seem more at home in the environment existing in this story.

It is a fitting extension of the story behind the characters and has many amusing moments. Naturally Clooney, Pitt and Matt Damon are at the forefront in terms of getting the immediate reaction. But they don't hog the limelight in the film, allowing people like Carl Reiner, Scott Caan and Casey Affleck to steal some scenes. Fine performances come from the story's villains, Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin too.

The relaxed interplay amongst the actors makes for an enjoyable film. It does exactly what it sets out to do.