Paul Cook 22/06/2007
For many the third spin of the roulette wheel sounded farcical. After a dreadfully dull second outing, a third looked a short-sighted Hollywood smash 'n' grab. Thankfully, director Soderbergh has pulled his heist hat back on with 13 and it's a cracking, classically structured heist film with the charm and sentiment of 11 with little room left for complaint.
Once again Clooney and Pitt offer the eye candy whilst the surrounding cast add that essential crime-caper lightheartedness. Pacino's addition to the franchise was an intelligent move giving the film the quality and worryingly convincing the performance that Ocean's 12 was deficient of. Matt Damon impresses on every level. Humour, on-screen presence, subtly brilliant portrayal of the big-shot in training with a few fantastic lines to throw in the mix.
The only thing the film lacks is - originality. It's a lot like the first film with a slight twist that spices up the story enough to make another film. However it does feel like you want to just erase Ocean's 12 from all memory and existence and just have 11 and 13.
Visually this film is top drawer. Soderbergh has mastered the art of shooting in Vegas making for some stunning sunset scenes and glitzy scenes on 'The Strip.' The heist is a slight anti-climax, although typically sophisticated and detailed it has no real edge or drama. Whereas with 11 the heist is uber-cool and tense, the Ocean's 13 heist is just cool with no suspense.
Despite appearing to be somewhat of a casino-heist cash-cow, Ocean's 13, surprisingly is worth a watch. Matt Damon impresses throughout and with the 'Ultimatum' of the Bourne trilogy on the way he's going to have a busy summer. Al Pacino also adds a new dimension to the film with a nastier, cunning villain than that of Andy Garcia's 'Terry Benedict.' So, whilst the subject matter isn't much of a shift from the original Soderbergh escapade, neither is it an unnecessary third. Beautifully shot and with the addition of new characters Ocean's 13 is a smart and entertaining Hollywood heist caper.