Twenty years ago on December 7th, the remake of Ocean’s Eleven hit the box office #1 in theatres. That first weekend it grossed over $38 million and by the end grossed over $450 million worldwide, and sparked two sequels and a branch off with all female cast in 2018.
With a critical response on Rotten Tomatoes of an 83% approval rating, the movie ended up on Entertainment Weekly’s end of the decade “best of” list.
The film directed by Steven Soderbergh and with a star studded cast that includes George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon, this is a funny, exciting, action packed two hours.
For those of you that haven’t seen this movie (What is wrong with you), you do not know what you are missing. This film fits perfectly into the genre of when you are flipping channels, its one that you stop and next thing you know, 2 hours have passed as it is so re-watchable. It’s not easy to give a small synopsis of this movie, because there are so many twists and turns and sub plots, however the main focus is the main character is Danny Ocean.
Danny Ocean is a thief who has just been paroled from prison. He seeks out his partner, Rusty and he has a job. And it is to rob the vault that houses the cash of three casinos in Las Vegas. And he plans to rob it on a night when $150 million is in it. So they recruit nine guys and they begin to put Ocean’s plan in motion. Everything is going well until Rusty discovers that Ocean’s ex-wife, Tess is the main squeeze of Terry Benedict the (ruthless) owner of the casinos. Rusty asks him what he is going to do if he has to choose. His response, if done right, he can have the woman and the money all together.
Danny and Rusty recruit a band of characters that seem to fit just right, can predict each other’s movements and seamlessly work together in a fun and exciting way. I cannot talk more about how much of a fun ride this movie is.
Do I think this movie should be remade? Well, they did try with the 2018 version starring Sandra Bullock in Oceans 8. Full disclosure, I didn’t watch it simply because I just cannot fathom anyone else taking on roles similar and not seeing George, Brad, Julia and cast reprising. Some of the fun characters are perfectly cast, Don Cheadle as “Basher” and even Scott Cahn as one of the Malloy brothers who bring great comedy banter and are perfectly cast.
One of the great nuggets of this movie is some of the little easter eggs present. Did you know that the character of Rusty played by Brad Pitt is almost always either eating or drinking something in his scenes? The scene where he is teaching the “teen idols” to play poker, were actual ‘teen idols’ of popular tv shows that were playing at the time of filming. Finally, the heist scenes are so complex and so engrossing that I find myself watching them over and over again and still trying to comprehend how they pulled it off. This movie is that great.
In closing, I just cannot imagine recasting or remaking this movie the cast of and after writing this article, I feel the need to go play some blackjack and rewatch it again.