Sure, there's no compelling artistic reason to make this movie, but if you strip it down and take Ocean's Thirteen for what it is, 2 hours watching Clooney, Pitt, and their pals look cool and saying some funny things while pulling off a big crazy scam, it delivers.

Yes, the "there's no way they could have done that" geek inside of you is going to pitch fits a few times as you trouble with a hacker's ability to perform live photoshop alterations and name changes on mug shots over the internet and manage to operate a full size tunnel digger under the busy streets of Vegas without any interference from the city. But damn if these guys aren't so watchable doing what they do, you just don't give a fuck.

The biggest bonus for the third installment of the Ocean saga is the lack of a female lead/romantic interest for any of the male stars in the film (Aside from a mostly peripheral role from Ellen Barkin, who at 53 can still fill out a red dress like a statue). The story is focused on the heist, and that's about it, so it's pretty clean, considering.

And the addition of Al Pacino as ruthless perfectionist works for the most part. He's OK to watch, but I wish he had better lines. As it is, he's a pale copy of Deniro's Ace Rothstein role in Casino, but he clearly owns every scene he's in and does at least an OK job with the part. You're just not going to remember much of anything he said or did in it, which is a wasteful shame.

The film's most hilarious moments, and those that got the biggest audience response, feature a cameo at the film's middle and end that show a more sensitive side to the leads that's both ridiculous and inspired.

Julian Sands and Eddie Izzard have small but effective parts in the film as well. The other supporting cast gets just enough time to do their thing.

It's certainly a much better film than Ocean's 12, and I know that's not raising the bar very high. It's not quite a "big screen experience" film, so you might just want to wait for the DVD. But if you just want to "hang out with cool guys" on screen, it'll deliver.

I liked it and would watch it again, and many people I talked to after the film agreed. It got applause from about 30% of the full theater and the audience seemed to be talking about it positively as they walked out.

Again, if you're going to let some bullshit technology in the storyline prevent you from enjoying a film, you should probably stay away. Otherwise, it's a pretty fun movie. I don't know if this is a franchise that we'll see more installments of, but this is a good palette cleanser to at least make you forget about the last one in case they do.

-Robert Berry



All commentary and review is (c)1999-2007