Review: A fast, funny flick

OCEAN'S ELEVEN is a funny and entertaining movie about 11 flamboyant characters who want to do something nobody has ever contemplated - take down three Las Vegas casinos for over $150 million.
While the film does not venture beyond its classic action-comedy genre, it packages it slickly with high-tech tricks, traces of science-fiction, snappy dialogue and great music (composed by David Holmes). Ocean's Eleven was filmed in three real Las Vegas casinos - the Bellagio, the MGM Grand and the Mirage.
It is also a remake a 1960s casino heist movie by the same name starring Frank Sinatra who, with his gang (Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Junior, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford) successfully knocks off five casinos. Despite its star cast, the movie was quickly forgotten.


PREPARING for action.
photo: Courtesy of Continental Film

Ocean's Eleven

Running time: 116 min
Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Matt Damon, Elliot Gould, Carl Reiner
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Rating: 7 out of 10
See page 11 for movie times in Slovakia

OCEAN'S ELEVEN is a funny and entertaining movie about 11 flamboyant characters who want to do something nobody has ever contemplated - take down three Las Vegas casinos for over $150 million.

While the film does not venture beyond its classic action-comedy genre, it packages it slickly with high-tech tricks, traces of science-fiction, snappy dialogue and great music (composed by David Holmes). Ocean's Eleven was filmed in three real Las Vegas casinos - the Bellagio, the MGM Grand and the Mirage.

It is also a remake a 1960s casino heist movie by the same name starring Frank Sinatra who, with his gang (Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Junior, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford) successfully knocks off five casinos. Despite its star cast, the movie was quickly forgotten.

The entertainment value of this film virtually ensures it won't suffer the ignominious fate of its predecessor. Danny Ocean (George Clooney) gets an idea for a new job immediately after being released from prison. He begins to plan the complicated heist with his old friend Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), who when we first meet him has a job teaching Hollywood rock stars how to play poker. The pair soon assemble a colourful team from various parts of the US. Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon) is a quiet Chicago pickpocket, while Saul Bloom (Carl Reiner) is retired 'professional' who in spite of his years and ulcers decides to prove himself once more in the role of a mysterious, paranoid European magnate who visits Las Vegas.


GANG plots casino heist.
photo: Courtesy of Continental Film

The characters are sharply and snappily played, especially that of Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), the casino owner and suspicious millionaire who has his massive empire under 24-hour control. Only Tess Ocean (Julia Roberts), the sexy curator of Bellagio's art gallery, Ocean's ex-wife and Benedict's lover, disappoints as the jailbird's wife and the millionaire's mistress. Naturally, she is the main inspiration for Ocean's megalomaniac operation.

Compared with previous films by Soderbergh, this movie is a well-made, fast and entertaining flourish with no great impact or depth. It is totally different in style and approach from his former movies, such as the unforgettable Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989) dealing with impotence and sexual fulfilment, the Oscar winning Erin Brockovich (2000) or Traffic (2000). Ocean's Eleven is an excellent way to spend a Friday evening, but one hopes that Soderbergh's next project is more along the lines of his previous work.

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