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Ocean's Eleven

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Saw this at a restaurant/theatre with my mom and grandma.  It was a lot more crowded than we expected, and we ended up sitting in the front row.  That was probably just ten feet too close.  You couldn't see both sides of the screen at the same time.

I caught the original about ten or fifteen years ago.  I won't spoil the ending, but the trick in the old movie was how to get the money out of town.  The main characters knew that they would be suspected and watched, so they schemed to put the money in a casket that would be shipped out of town the day after the robbery.

This remake pretty much ignored that issue.  The antagonist suspects one of the characters, but lets him go, anyway. The movie ends with them getting away clean, implying that's the end if it.  I think they should have used a Die Hard-like trick.  If you steal $150 million from the mob then they will find you, unless they think you're already dead. But as I said, they just ignored it.

The entire plot device of the vault was a little over done, in standard Hollyweird fashion.  They describe it as 200 feet underground (I doubt a hotel that size would go that far underground.)  Keypad codes that change every twelve hours (distributing the new list to everyone who needs it twice a day is likely a security risk.)  A fingerprint pad that can't be faked out (everything has some vulnerability.)  Etc.

The point of the whole thing was they needed an excuse to set up a Mission Impossible-type escapade to replace the trick ending of the original movie.  In the end it worked okay, but I think the robbery could have had just as interesting if they had toned down the hyperbole a bit to something more realistic.

I especially didn't like the EMP device.  Their verbal description was vaguely on target.  But the device itself was silly, and its effects were flat out wrong.   Not only would it flip circuit breakers for miles around, but it would also destroy a large number of electronic devices, such as computers, cell phones, TVs, etc.  So the effect would be much, much worse than just cutting the power for 30 secs.

They did get a group of top-notch actors for the cast.  Though there were a couple who didn't really do all that much.  My mom and I couldn't figure out why Elliot Gould's character was part of the gang.  Unless he bankrolled the perparations.  And Julia Roberts had a prominent part, but I don't think they really needed her in order to advance the plot.  Hers was a needless twist that they didn't really have time for.  It might have been nice if they had used her for a Sting-like twist at the end where she's a mole.  Instead, she was just the love interest so that Clooney could get the girl in the end.

High points:
Good cast
Julia Roberts
Mission Impossible robbery was fun
Low points:
Mission Impossible robbery was over-done
Ending was flat, especially compared to original
The EMP device was silly

On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Rental with Dinner.  Good actors, good script and sorta fun.  But without the humorous twist at the end of the original, it felt flat.

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Last modified: June 14, 2004
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