Steven Soderbergh, well known for his Academy Award winning directorial work in the film Traffic, as well as in such innovative films as sex, lies and videotape, the George Clooney/Jennifer Lopez sizzler Out of Sight, and the popular Erin Brockovich has decided to apply his skills to a remake of "The Rat Pack’s” Ocean's Eleven. It has been a very long time since I saw the original film, Ocean's 11 that starred Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Peter Lawford, as well as Angie Dickenson in the sole female role, and I looked forward to seeing how a casino heist would fare in the modern day world of computers and elaborate security systems. Soderbergh came through yet again.
With an all-star cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, and Matt Damon among others, this film is a visual feast. Present day Las Vegas is stunning, Clooney as Johnny Ocean captivating, dressed in an elegant tuxedo it seems for most of the film, and Julia Roberts lives up to the woman Ocean risks it all for in order to win her back from her boyfriend the casino owner, played by Andy Garcia.
There were enough surprises to keep my interest and I did hope these eleven unlikely partners would pull off their elaborate scheme to rob not just one casino, but three in the same night. The actors were very well cast, and the film is funny, suspenseful and simply great entertainment. It was wise that the audience is not let in on all the details of the coming casino heist, so that we could be almost as surprised as Garcia’s character is when he discovers what is happening to him and his money.
Casey Affleck does very well in his role of the young and seemingly not very bright brother of another of the eleven, and their antics together are hilarious. I’d like to see Casey just once do something other than this type of character, and look forward to the day when someone casts him in a role that is a bit more challenging.
Ocean's Eleven is a must see. I'll rent Ocean's Twelve soon and let you know how I liked it.