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June 12, 2007 > Ocean's Thirteen Review

Ocean's Thirteen Review

By Susana Nu–ez

The debt to casino owner Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) has been paid by three separate - successful - heists throughout Europe and the boys are back in Vegas. But the original eleven-member crew is resurrected when ruthless casino owner, Willy Bank (Al Pacino), swindles one of their own. Danny Ocean's friend and mentor Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould) has been double-crossed by Bank after working on a joint hotel/casino venture. Bank thinks Tishkoff is a dead weight and expects him to disappear quietly while he prepares for the casino's grand opening. An experienced hotelier, every one of Bank's hotels has been awarded the Royal Review Board's Five Diamond Award, and he intends to keep it that way.

Danny Ocean (George Clooney) rounds up the original gang, plotting to break Willy Bank's new hotel, "The Bank." The elaborate and risky plan requires the skills of every member and the pocketbook of one additional (and unlikely) ally. The gang sets out to not only ruin Bank financially, but to hit him where it hurts by sabotaging his chances at the Five Diamond Award.

It's safe to say that Ocean's Thirteen is even better than the 2004 sequel, Ocean's Twelve. The last film lacked the character development cleverly tied into this latest addition. Ocean's Twelve had its moments, but the storyline played down some of the original eleven characters who won over viewers in the first film. Although Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) and Danny Ocean are the unquestionable leaders, in Ocean's Twelve, their characters began to overshadow the rest of the colorful cast. Also, the European setting lacked the special sizzle of Las Vegas.

Filmmakers realized that only an over-the-top script could bring back the entire stellar cast for a successful sequel, so they chose Brian Koppelman and David Levien, writers of the film Rounders. Director Steven Soderbergh brought Oceans back to Vegas, as well. Although the film is a bit predictable, Ocean's Thirteen is an entertaining and fun-filled experience throughout.

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