Is this really the movie that drew Soderbergh out of “retirement”?
Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.
Ocean Eleven goes Deep South.
This had all the Soderbergh traits. The dry humour, the stylish look, the crazy characters.
I enjoyed the Ocean movies BUT always felt they were a little overhyped (Sacrilege, I know).
BUT despite the director’s best efforts and ol’ Mike trying to work his magic, this crime caper just didn’t quite work.
A real shame as I was looking forward to seeing what these guys could do.
What? Hehehe. Moving on . . .
The pace was a real drag. The opening 30 minutes was a real bum-number. The slow style didn’t help matters despite Jimmy’s (Channing Tatum) luck fading fast. Battling unemployment and a possible custody battle.
Tatum delivered a sterling turn and carried the film as much as he could BUT it just wasn’t enough.
I was disappointed in Jimmy and Clyde’s fraternal relationship. Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Tatum had good chemistry BUT they spent too much of the movie apart.
Riley Keough, I’m in love. What? She was heavily underused as the other (resourceful) Logan sibling.
“I know all the Twitters”.
The soundtrack was decent and the script did deliver some funny quips. Jack Quaid and Brian Gleeson were hilarious as the dim-witted Bang brothers. I think the movie focused on the wrong family. Seriously, I’m not even joking.
The actual heist was okay and made for an entertaining and silly middle act. My grumbling was subdued and there were some suspenseful moments BUT it all felt a little too easy.
The strangely disjointed subplot (if you can call it that) with Sebastian Stan’s (Captain America: Winter Soldier) frustrated racer was terrible. It bared no significance to the plot and felt like a poor interlude between the heist sequences. It didn’t work for me. I would have preferred the flicking back and forth focusing on the actual protagonists instead.
Speaking of terrible? What was the deal with Seth MacFarlane’s dreadful Mockney accent? You can normally bank on the Family Guy comic to deliver the goods BUT he really got on my nerves as the pretentious British racing tycoon.
I was happy to see James Bond take a complete change in role as the eccentric Joe Bang. BUT despite a reasonable performance, Craig just wasn’t as good or as funny as I’d hoped. From the trailers, I expected something more. Wasted opportunity.
His heated debate with the Logan brothers over explosive ingredients (mid-heist) was entertaining enough.
I just wish there was more of that. Sarcastically doodling chemical compounds while making a bomb out of blue tack and gummy bears drew a titter from me.
There was too much smoke and mirrors guff that (despite preaching boredom) I was actually getting a little lost in what was going on.
BUT thankfully the unravelling of the mad robbery redeemed a real droll affair.
I knew things were getting desperate when Soderbergh threw in a cheeky Ocean’s Eleven reference to get a laugh (Admittedly it did get a guilty chuckle from yours truly).
Hilary Swank was completely wasted in her role. She literally appeared in the final act. Promising so much and giving us absolutely nothing. To be honest, her character’s frustration mirrored mine as she scratched her head at this ludicrous heist. I really hoped her hard ass FBI agent would bust some balls and pick up the tempo. BUT alas, it was not to be.
The female roles were pretty weak in general. Katherine Waterston’s (Alien: Covenant) character was reduced to nothing more than a forced cheesy romance that felt tacked on. Katie Holmes’ scornful ex wasn’t too bad BUT again more could have been made out of her.
And that’s my review in a nutshell. More could have made out of this. It wasn’t quite as gripping, funny or as clever as it could have been.
It passed the time, delivered the odd quip and had the odd moment. BUT there was something missing.
Watchable but memorable? If it wasn’t for this review, I probably would have forgotten it already. Unlucky.