Ocean’s Thirteen (Soderbergh, 2007)

Definitely one of the more enjoyable Hollywood films of 2007. Soderbergh’s third Ocean film goes back to the basics, as in vibrant Las Vegas mise-en-scene, clever plot twists, and simple character motivations. It’s all welcome after the disaster of Ocean’s Twelve, a rambling self indulgent gab fest which has to be one of the worst films of recent memory. Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his gang of confidence men shell out the revenge after their own Ruben (Elliot Gould) gets financially screwed by another Las Vegas player (Al Pacino hamming it up). Soderbergh relishes the way light bounces off slot machines, neon signs, and casino high rises, playfully blocking his fun characters through labyrinths of reds and yellows, never taking the proceedings too seriously. It’s good to see the boys back, plotting with the best of them, referring to the old guard with joyous nostalgia, simply doing what they do best.

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