Citizen critique-Ocean's Eleven

By Jeremy Browne

Sometimes a remake is actually better than the original, as is the case with Steven Soderbergh's remake of the 1960s Rat Pack vehicle Ocean's Eleven. I first saw Ocean's Eleven a while ago and I hate to say it, but it was kind of forgettable. All I remember is that the guys mugged for the camera an awful lot. Fast forward four decades and not much has changed --the guys still mug a bit -- but it's a hell of a lot more fun to watch.

That style counts more than substance here should be no surprise. Although Soderbergh has proven himself capable of deep films many times before, it's clear from both the trailers and the first ten minutes of Ocean's Eleven that this is purely a movie made for fun. It sets itself up as a heist caper and the basic premise is that Ocean (George Clooney) and his pals plan to loot three big Las Vegas casinos. What's interesting is how many times I caught myself not even following the plot, so engrossed was I in all the action, cool shots, and snappy dialogue. The scenery is pleasantly distracting too -- the Bellagio, in fact, is as much a star of the film as are Clooney, Roberts and all the other actors. All in all, it's a flashy, glitzy bit of eye-candy, and for once, that's not necessarily bad.

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