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BWN Nerds’ Movie Review: Ocean’s Twelve (2004)

Welcome to this week’s Nerd Review! Every week the Nerds give you their take on a different classic. This week Dave & Greg review 2001’s classic Ocean’s Twelve!

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Ocean's Twelve

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Nerd Review!  Every week the Nerds give you their take on a different classic from the Nerdosphere.  This week Dave and Greg review 2004’s classic Ocean’s Twelve!

The Flick: Ocean’s Twelve

The second installment of the Oceans Trilogy picks up pretty much right where we left off at the end of Oceans 11. It has been three years since Danny Ocean and his crew snatched $160 million dollars from Terry Benedict in a heist of the vault at The Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. Now, Terry has tracked down all 11 of the individuals involved and, well, let’s just say he is displeased. He wants all of his money back (even though the insurance company already paid him for his losses) plus three years’ worth of interest. The toll comes to about $198 million and the crew have all of two weeks to get Terry his money or suffer the direst of consequences possible. Thus, the stage is set for another excellent adventure in Oceans 12.

The gang finds itself desperately searching for a heist that could yield the kind of payoff necessary to pay off Terry. When the movie starts, the crew find themselves about $90 million short of what they need to satisfy their debt. Things take an interesting turn with the introduction of Isabel Lahiri, a Europol detective who also happens to be the ex-girlfriend of Rusty, who Rusty just happened to leave high and dry one night when he realized Isabel was about to discover his involvement in a major case on which she had been working. Things come full circle when the Oceans gang attempt to steal the first stock certificate ever issued. They are beaten to the punch, however, by the legendary Night Fox, a master thief Isabel has been trying to nab for years. The Night Fox was trained by the grand master-thief, LeMarc. When LeMarc comments that the Bellagio job was the greatest theft he had ever seen, the Night Fox’s ego is damaged and he challenges Danny to a contest to see who can steal the fabled Faberge Coronation Egg first. If Danny and company succeed, then the Night Fox, who is revealed to be a wealthy French man by the name of Francois Toulour, will pay off their debt to Benedict. If the Night Fox wins, then Danny and his crew will feel the full wrath of Benedict.

That, my friends, really sums up the crux of the movie. It is the getting there that is the fun part. I did not feel like Oceans 12 was as tight a movie as its predecessor. By that, I mean that in Oceans 11, it was very clear the direction in which everyone was going. There was a singular purpose running throughout almost the entire movie. In Oceans 12, we do not really get there until roughly halfway through the movie. On the other hand, Oceans 12 keeps you on your toes much more than the first film does. The movie keeps you guessing the whole way through. You know the guys will come out of this OK but you never get a real sense as to how they are going to pull it off. There is a good deal of diversion and misdirection involved, especially in the final third of the movie. This comes to the forefront when we finally realize how the guys end up getting the better of the Night Fox and the definite twist at the very end when we discover who Isabel’s father actually is. The film ends on a definite high note, even though we get the distinct impression that the Night Fox might want to take a run at the fortune of Terry Benedict himself. But even that is not certain and it sure seems like anything might be possible for the final installment of the trilogy.

(Synopsis courtesy of Dave Ungar!)

The Nerds’ Take on Ocean’s Twelve (2004):

Dave Ungar: I felt like Oceans Twelve was a funnier movie than Oceans Twelve. It begins with Benedict tracking down Oceans Eleven in a variety of locations and situations and this persists throughout. This humor is never more evident then when the guys run into some serious trouble in Rome and convince Tess to come to Italy because she looks like…. wait for it…Julia Roberts. This quasi breaking of the 4th wall is one of the highlights of the movie and it gets even better with a cameo from Bruce Willis, who recognizes his good friend and immediately knows something is not quite right, all the while fielding opinions from individuals as to exactly when they figured out Bruce’s character was dead in The Sixth Sense. It is all great fun and adds a little extra layer to the sequel.

As for the cast, everything that held true for Oceans Eleven applies to Oceans 12. Everyone from the first film returns here and they all deliver an equally good performance. The focus of Oceans Twelve definitely shifted a bit from George Clooney’s character (hey, he only looks 50 years old from the neck up) to Brad Pitt’s, but it all works very well. There are some notable additions to the cast, especially Catherine Zeta- Jones, who knocks it out of the park as Isabel, Vincent Cassel, who shines as the Night Fox, and Robbie Coltrane as Matsui. And, of course, Bruce Willis plays himself. I can honestly say that the acting in Oceans Twelve was every bit as good as it was in Oceans Eleven.

So, of course, the question is this: Did the sequel exceed the original? I would say no…but just barely. Make no mistake, this is not just a reskin of Oceans Eleven. Oceans Twelve is definitely a different movie entirely even if the general theme is the same. Oceans Twelve felt like equal parts world- building and story progression, which is no easy task to pull off. I will end up rating it slightly below Oceans Twelve, but I am absolutely looking forward to seeing how things play out in Oceans Thirteen next week.

Dave’s Rating: 4.25/5

Greg DeMarco: Our look at the trilogy (or is it) continues, and I remain thrilled to discuss these movies. Even though I’ve covered Ocean’s Eleven three times now, I have never really covered Ocean’s Twelve.

Once again, Dave’s synopsis is top notch, so I am not going to re-tell the story. But I will use elements of it. First off, the group is “officially” 12 large this time, thanks to Linus roping in Tess Ocean. More on that in a moment.

This movie has a great sense of humor, as shown in the opening montage of Terry Benedict finding each member of Ocean’s Eleven–by the way, they all apparently agreed to call it “The Benedict Job,” which would have made sense as a movie title, but not as iconic. Maybe we could have somehow linked it to The Italian Job, and the never-gonna-happen sequel, The Spanish Job. Those scenes plays into each character’s personalities, and also reveals new traits like Livingston Dell doing stand-up comedy (and Benedict seems to have a soft spot for him), and Basher Tarr producing rap albums.

As the first movie followed Danny’s love story with Tess, this time around we are treated to Rusty’s with Isabel Lahiri, brilliantly played by Catherine Zeta-Jones. While Danny got arrested to cause the issues in his marriage, Rusty skipped out on Izzy to prevent getting arrested–by her. There are parallels between Danny being made in the first installment and Rusty (and others) being made in the second, leading to arrests that would seem problematic at the time, but were actually written into the script to mitigate actor availability. The other major addition to this movie is the Night Fox, aka Baron François Toulour (“he’s French”), who serves as the main antagonist for the Ocean’s crew.

Obviously the whole thing is intertwined, but Toulour’s focus is on the execution of the heist, where as Danny and Rusty excel in planning. they had the “game” (stealing the original Faberge Egg) won before it started, using Toulour to get the $198 million they owed to Terry Benedict–even though he got it all back in insurance, it was principle for him. He wanted–and g0t–it all back…with interest. Even in defeat, The Night Fox steals the show with Vincent Cassel’s amazing performance. If you aren’t familiar with Cassel, he plays Thomas Leroy in Black Swan and the Asset in Jason Bourne. Among a ton of other stuff.

Dave talked about it, but you can’t talk about Ocean’s Twelve without talking about Tess Ocean’s Looky-Lou. Well actually it’s a Looky Lou with a Bundle Of Joy. Not a real criminal tactic, this is basically using a lookalike of a real person, who happens to be pregnant. Of course the movie does this by going meta before meta was cool, where Tess Ocean (who looks just like–) is coerced into portraying Julia Roberts, who was pregnant at the time. Of course Tess Ocean is played by Julia Roberts, who is pregnant at the time. Her time in the museum is thrown for a loop when Bruce Willis shows up (he wasn’t originally in the script, just happened to be in Paris when this was filmed), and she of course gets herself and everyone with her arrested–but not until the “egg” is properly stolen.

Isabel Lahiri is obsessed with finally taking Rusty Ryan down, and falsifies documents to get the financial support she needs to do it. This of course backfires, and Rusty (just like Danny in Eleven) uses the job to reunite Izzy with her dad, and rekindle their relationship. Of course her dad is Gaspar LeMarc, the greatest thief of all time, who used EVERYONE to get his hands on the Faberge Egg that he originally stole but had to give back (his wife made him do it).

Throughout this entire process Linus’s mother gets involved (we’re not sure who called her in), in releasing everyone in the arrest, Danny is deemed the greatest thief over Toulour, Terry gets his money back plus interest, and everything is wrapped up in a nice neat bow. Except the Night Fox is working as a botanist in the Bellagio, already working his next job.

I know I went into some synopsis, but I wanted you to se how beautifully convoluted this whole thing is. It’s the perfect sequel to Eleven in that it stands on its own, but is a thousand times more enjoyable had you seen the original. It also sets things up for Thirteen, where (spoiler alert) the gang ends up having to give Terry Benedict money (again), Tess and Izzy aren’t around (it’s not their fight), and there is a whole new enemy to deal with (but one who, like Terry, screwed Ruben Tishkoff).

But that’s for next week! Ocean’s Twelve falls just shy of Eleven, but that’s to be expected. Only one movie can be the GOAT, and it’s Eleven. Twelve is outstanding, but you can’t discuss Ocean’s Twelve without referencing Ocean’s Eleven. I choose to think of it as a totally separate movie, not comparing it to it’s predecessor. And in that regard, I still love and cherish this movie.

Greg’s Rating: 4.75/5

Nerds’ Rating for Ocean’s Twelve (2004): 4.5/5.0


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Bandwagon Nerds

Bandwagon Nerds #160: Changes Bob Iger Style

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Bandwagon Nerds

Patrick O’Dowd, PC Tunney, and Rey Cash revisit the leadership changes at Disney and how Bob Iger has already made his mark in the company.  Plus, after slow week in the trailer park last episode, the Nerds react to five, yes FIVE, trailer releases.  Finally, Patrick and PC Tunney review the Apple TV movie, Spirited starring Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds.

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Bandwagon Nerds

Bandwagon Nerds #159: Disney’s Bold Move

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Bandwagon Nerds
Bandwagon Nerds #159: Disney's Bold Move

This week Dave, Patrick and PC Tunney give their thoughts regarding the huge news out of Disney that Bob Chapek is out as CEO and has been replaced by the returning Bob Iger.  What does it mean for the struggling company and will Iger be able to right the ship?  Plus with the O’Dowds back from Disneyworld, the Little O’Dowd crashes the show to share his Disneyworld experience.  Finally, the Nerds finish their review of Locke and Key Season 3!

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About Bandwagon Nerds

Join Patrick O’Dowd, David Ungar, PC Tunney and Rey Cash as they keep everyone up on all things nerd, and maybe add some new nerds along the way. It’s the Bandwagon Nerds Podcast!

About the Chairshot Radio Network

Created in 2017, the Chairshot Radio Network presents you with the best in wrestling and wrestling crossover podcasts, including POD is WAR, Women’s Wrestling Talk, The #Miranda Show, Badlands’ Wrestling Mount Rushmores, The Outsider’s Edge, DWI Podcast, Bandwagon Nerds, the Greg DeMarco Show, 3 Man Weave, Five Rounds, Turnbuckle Talk, Suwama’s Station, The Reaction and more! You can find these great shows each week at theChairshot.com and through our distribution partners, including podcasting’s most popular platforms.


The Chairshot Radio Network
Your home for the hardest hitting podcasts and radio shows!

All Shows On Demand

Listen on your favorite platform!

iTunes  |  iHeart Radio  |  Google Play  |  Spotify
Listen, like, subscribe, and share!


Bandwagon Nerds Mario


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