As expected, Ocean’s Thirteen possesses precisely the sort of light-hearted vibe that the series has come to be associated with – ensuring that, while generally entertaining enough (if undeniably overlong), the movie is ultimately as forgettable as both of its predecessors. The metaphysical hijinks of Ocean’s Twelve have been eliminated this time around, and it’s clear almost immediately that director Steven Soderbergh – working from Brian Koppelman and David Levien’s screenplay – is looking to ape the feel and tone of the original. The usual cast of characters – including George Clooney’s Danny Ocean, Brad Pitt’s Rusty Ryan, and Matt Damon’s Linus Caldwell – must team up once more after old friend Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould) is double-crossed by a vicious casino owner named Willie Bank (Al Pacino). Infused with Soderbergh’s expectedly off-kilter visuals and a number of genuinely funny sight gags and one-liners, Ocean’s Thirteen generally comes off as nothing more than a mindless and breezy affair – with the viewer’s interest held primarily by the effortlessly engaging performances (Pacino smarmy, downright sinister work is certainly a highlight). And though the gang’s caper seems particularly inconsequential this time around (surely there are easier ways to get revenge), the movie is ultimately a welcome respite from the effects-heavy and egregiously over-the-top fare that usually dominates multiplexes this time of year.
**1/2 out of ****