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Ocean's Thirteen

Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Al Pacino
Director: Steven Soderbergh

The first one: incredible. The second one: horrible. The third one: forgettable. I had been scrambling in my brain about the events that transpired in the third installment of the trilogy, feigning a single memory. That was why I decided to check out Ocean's Thirteen again, in hopes of remembering the events, and to be entertained. I did love the first one, and hoped that this was better than the second. It took some time but after a few scenes, I began to remember the details that went about. While it wasn't horrible like the second, it missed the spark of the first. 

While the first two movies were driven with self-fulfillment, the third one harbors on revenge alone, their scheming leaving them with nothing. When the original gang winds up of the treachery Reuben experienced at the hands of Willy Bank, who is quite notorious for shady deals, the gang hatch up a plan to get even. Since they're probably experts on the casino game by now, it was the security and the exit strategy that they had a problem with. They needed to defeat the system named The Greco. Along the way, they enlist the help of their old enemy, Benedict, and we see the resurface of Toulour as Benedict's 'henchman'.

Soderbergh wraps up the trilogy in a nice tight package, going back to the roots of the first film. It also helps that Roberts and Zeta-Jones, who played somewhat crucial roles in the first two was written out of the third, allowing the audience to have the fullest grasp of the con. Granted it wasn't as clever as the first, as all the scheming and the planning had been done beforehand, leaving us to watch as they execute the entire operation. It wasn't as complicated as the first, which gave off this calm, cool vibe that said 'we are so going to pull this off but we're just taking the humble approach'. It has its entertaining moments, but there were certain misses as well. 

Some actors were given more screen time, like Casey Affleck (although some of his scenes were deemed unnecessary), while some ceased in the background, only appearing once or twice. Granted most of the focus was on Al Pacino, followed by George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. The chemistry between Clooney and Pitt was still there, with their responses even before the other finished his sentence. The writing was clean. Everything was straight to the point, but because everything was laid out before the audience, the air of mystery was gone. I think that was what I appreciated in the first installation, the idea that you know they can pull this off but you have no idea how since their strategies weren't planted out. The air of mystery also worked for the second movie, but given that there was more plot twists to follow, it was a little hard to follow. The third did away with all that, choosing to end the trilogy with a heist that started it all. 

A movie that ranks in the middle of the trilogy, it redeemed itself from the mess that was Ocean's Twelve, but it certainly did not live up to the promise of Ocean's Eleven. Despite being a talented man, Al Pacino's performance was forgettable here, even if he had experience in mob-type flicks. Everyone mostly took the backseat to let the scheme stand out, with the actors contributing to making their plan a success. Sure there were some questionable moments, and the system they were trying to defeat was just given a glance. Still I don't think this failed to entertain, and it did wrap up the trilogy in a good note. 


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