The years-long save-the-world plot, poignant near-future setting, and infinite themes both heady and heartfelt are all undeniably epic and compelling, and while the exposition weighs quite heavy at times (see the repeat of the ghost revelation), it doesn’t stop the film from reaching many incredible cinematic heights both emotional (see the devastating return from Miller’s planet) and action-oriented (see the spinning dock sequence), helped as it is by stunning visuals, music, and performances.
Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker and his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public. (IMDb)
Over a wonderful aesthetic (warm cinematography, clever editing, and cozy jazz), light and leisurely character set-ups (Forrest and Jewel have great banter) set the stage for a fun little plot (Affleck’s weary cop is a perfect match for Redford’s relaxed con). The final act fails to wrap things up as gracefully, however, thanks to a couple plot snags (why let him leave the bathroom, and why a horse instead of the car?) and Forrest’s now irritatingly breezy attitude in the face of adversity.
When a group of hard-working guys find out they’ve fallen victim to their wealthy employer’s Ponzi scheme, they conspire to rob his high-rise residence. (IMDb)
Why would they have to sneak past the very hotel workers that they plan to give the spoils of the job to? This and many other plot holes riddle this half-assed heist flick, so while the vicarious pleasure of Robin Hood-esque stealing is still there (see when Mr. Malloy sees his car is missing) it never lasts for long (surely a car made of gold would be too heavy for an elevator). Mediocre characters and scant humour (Murphy’s wild Slide is probably the highlight) don’t do much to help.
Danny Ocean and his eleven accomplices plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously. (IMDb)
This film would be entertaining enough with just a neat, elaborate heist (which it has), but it takes it up a notch with a steady stream of quick and witty dialogue, smoothly delivered by the effortlessly charismatic Clooney and Pitt, matching the brilliance of their cool schemes punch for punch. The editing is just as slick, with retro slide scene transitions and a chill Vegas-flavoured soundtrack. The “got the girl” ending is the only thing that’s a bit distasteful in this great caper flick.