OCEAN'S  12     -          A  Narada Film Review

   BRAD PITT    
   Rusty Ryan
    Tess Ocean
   Isabel Lahiri
OCEAN'S 12 - 2004   -Stephen Soderberg-Director  &  Jerry Weintraub -Producer
        There are two things which relegate Hollywood pictures to instant mediocrity.   The first is making a sequel.    Before we go any further, we should differentiate between 'sequel' and 'serialized'- Lord of the Rings was serialized into 3 parts, while, on the other hand, OCEAN'S 12 is a sequel to Ocean's 11.   In a serialized story, there is just no way to relate the entire 'saga' at a single viewing - while in a sequel, there is just no way to bilk the public out of all their money at a single viewing.
         The second thing which relegates a Hollywood film to instant forgettability is stuffing the film with 'cameos' - a transparent and vulgar attempt by producers to appeal to 'star power' where they know in advance they cannot provide any real entertainment value to the movie-going public.)   And OCEAN'S 12 indulges, nay, wallows in both these cinematic sins.
         But OCEAN'S 12 fails on an even more fundamental level.   Hollywood being America's original "Spin Doctors", have long been foisting on malleable movie-goers the concept of the 'Caper'.   Our morally turpitudinous Tinsel-Towners use the 'Caper' as an euphemism for outright theft, where the thieves are the protagonists - the 'good guys'.   Big box-office 'Capers' go back at least as far as 1954's Rififi and 1964's Topkapi.   -And the entire genre that was so spawned usually had what they call a 'star-studded' cast - after all, how can you be expected to cheer for the crooks if they are not 'desirable' stars?   But where the real Spin-Doctoring comes in is that this form of theft is not only somehow OK, it is made out to be admirable.
         But not just anyone can pull off a 'Caper' - there are a few pre-qualifications to be met.   First, you must already be independently wealthy - and the only reason you are thieving is because of the 'challenge'.   Secondly, the heist must be very elaborate, very 'slick', thirdly, the heist must be for a very, very large sum of money, and lastly, you must be an international Jet-Setter; a 'glamorous' person.   In other words, "Beautiful People" pull off 'Capers', other big-time crooks commit Enron scandals.
      Enduring Line or Phrase:  "This?   You couldn't predict this?!"

Copyright 2004,    Bangkok Eyes / bangkokeyes.com
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