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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ocean's Twelve (Released in 2004) - Successful sequel to con movie - Starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Andy García, Julia Roberts

The 2004 sequel to the world acclaimed multi starrer Ocean’s Eleven; Ocean’s Twelve is yet another super entertaining piece by Steven Soderbergh. Even as most movies with heist escapades end with the thieves or con men going into well-earned retirement, most sequels to such movies begin with how the dapper con men are forced to come out of retirement for one or the other reason and perform one more long con.
In Ocean’s Twelve, the reason for the flamboyant eleven being pulled out from enjoying their spoils is Terry Benedict, played by Andy Garcia – the man from whom Danny Ocean and his boys had stolen $160 million in the previous movie. Now Terry has managed to track down the eleven and has demanded that they return his money, plus interest worth $38 million, unless they want to be turned over to US Authorities. Terry personally goes to meet each and every one of the members and makes it clear to them that they have exactly 2 weeks to return his money.  
With time running out, the group decides to stage a heist in Europe to avoid further problems with the US Authorities. Danny is tipped off about the location of the first stock certificate ever published, by an informant named Matsui, played by Robbie Coltrane. However, their elaborate plans are foiled by another master thief who goes by the name of Night Fox. To make matters worse, Europol Detective Isabel Lahiri, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, is investigating the theft. Rusty (Brad Pitt) and her had a relationship a long time ago. She realizes that her conversations with him must have given him the idea of how to steal the certificate. She turns up unannounced at the group’s accommodations and warns them that she is on to them, and that they cannot hope to beat either the Night Fox, or his Mentor the mysterious LeMarc.
If the plot wasn’t already getting complicated, then here’s more. The Night Fox, who turns out to be Baron Francois Toulour, played by Vincent Cassel, a wealthy businessman, invites Danny to his mansion. After bragging to Danny about how he has been a step ahead of him the whole time, he goes on to crib about how he is offended that LeMarc doesn’t think of him - Toulour as the greatest thief ever. He challenges Danny to steal the famous Faberge Imperial Coronation Egg, and promises Danny that if he and his gang win, then he will pay off Danny’s debt to Terry Benedict.

Danny hires one more in his group, now making the count twelve. What follows is an elaborately planned heist, complete with holographic representations. However, when the plan goes haywire and half the members of Danny’s group are in prison, Linus (Matt Damon) creates a new plan which gets Tess Ocean involved. With cameo roles of not one but 2 actors – Bruce Willis playing himself and Julia Roberts (who is Tess in the movie) playing Julia Roberts for the Heist, the plot gets only more entertaining. Needless to say, Linus’s plan is foiled and now everyone lands up in jail.
Enter the FBI agent, played by Cherry Jones, who has come to extradite the group to the US. It turns out she is Linus’s mother and helps them get out of prison. But, if you are thinking even for a moment, that Ocean and his twelve con men did not get the Faberge egg, you are wrong. Not only do they get the egg, which is elaborately explained by Danny and Tess, in a narrative and flash back sequence, to Toulour, but they also managed to wipe the smug expression of Toulour’s face. Toulour as promised pays the money owed by Danny, to Terry Benedict and Danny promises to steer clear of Terry in the future.
In the end, Rusty takes Lahiri to a safe house that he claims was left to him by LeMarc, where she is reunited with her father, who turns out to be LeMarc himself. The final scene shows Rusty taking Lahiri to a private poker game where the entire group has reunited to enjoy themselves.
In the movie, it doesn’t matter what priceless treasure they stole or how they stole it. What matters is the behavior, dialogues and star power that each actor brings with him. With at least fifteen big names running around the silver screen enjoying themselves in panache and style, one can only wonder as to the number of actors starring in the next sequel. Also, where most movies highlight the implausibility of the script in a bad way, Ocean’s Twelve only makes you enjoy the unrealistic scenarios played out here. Soderbergh has as always done a wonderful job to highlight the strong points of the movie, namely the charm and smooth talking style of its actors like Clooney, Pitt and Catharine Zeta-Jones.
While some of the heists planned seem unrealistic, the movie is not so much about the heist, as it is about fun and frolic created by Soderbergh and his merry band of actors. Overall, Ocean’s Twelve is an entertaining movie which urges the viewer to root for the con men and their escapades.

Ocean's Twelve (Released in 2004) - Successful sequel to con movie - Starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Andy García, Julia Roberts

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