Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary by Brad Pitt, Matt
Damon and Andy Garcia; Audio commentary by Steven Soderbergh and
screenwriter Ted Griffen; 'The Making Of Ocean's Eleven' documentary;
'The Look Of The Con' documentary; Behind the scenes; 3 theatrical
trailers; Cast and crew filmographies; DVD-ROM features.
IN ADDITION: This special box set DVD edition also contains
a CD soundtrack; a 16-page booklet featuring production stills
and exclusive behind-the-scenes images from the film; a collectible
senitype(r); and an original US cinema poster (one sheet) in-pack
THERE can be few safer bets in Hollywood than a cast including
George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia and Matt
Damon in a film directed by Traffic
and Erin Brockovich helmer Steven Soderbergh.
So it will come as little surprise to hear that Ocean's Eleven,
a super-cool remake of Frank Sinatra's original 'rat-pack' flick,
delivers the goods in spades with plenty more to spare.
Stripped bare, Soderbergh's film is little more than a triumph
of style over substance - the plot is unremarkable, featuring
11 guys who want to take down three Las Vegas casinos in one night
- and there are few surprises along the way.
But the acclaimed director pulls off the ultimate card trick by
dealing out a movie which delights in its simplicity, dazzles
with its style and cashes in on the undeniable talents of its
heavyweight A-list stars.
Clooney heads the cast as recently
released convict Daniel Ocean, a man still smarting over the departure
of his wife (Roberts), who plans to get even by robbing the three
casinos owned by Garcia's Terry Benedict, his love rival.
Rounding up an elite crew of criminals - including Pitt's calculated
point man, Don Cheadle's explosives expert, and Damon's promising
rookie - Ocean sets up the ultimate heist while making his own
play to win Roberts back.
And that's about as complex as it gets, suffice to say that there
is the odd complication as well as an ending which, in my opinion,
pays homage to another heist classic (though to reveal which one,
may ruin the surprise).
Where Ocean's Eleven really pays dividends, however, is in its
execution. After delivering the Oscar-laden double whammy of Traffic
and Brockovich, Soderbergh here seems content to sit back and
have fun, re-uniting with several of his favourite stars to deliver
the type of film which evokes memories of star-laden classics
such as The Magnificent Seven (Soderbergh, himself, confesses
to a liking for Jaws).
The result is effortlessly cool, with Clooney and Pitt striking
the type of chemistry which harks back to Newman and Redford in
their heyday, Roberts providing further proof that she is at her
best in the company of Soderbergh, despite a limited screen time,
and Garcia back in typically suave mode - could this mark the
start of a revival for an actor likened to a young Pacino during
the early Nineties. The likes of Elliott Gould, Carl Reiner, Scott
Caan and, of course, Damon and Cheadle also make their mark.
Script-wise, the movie positively crackles with energy, while
David Holmes's soundtrack adds icing to a near-perfect cake. You've
got to hand it to Soderbergh and Clooney , they are fast becoming
the kings of the Hollywood pack.