After the greasy, self-indulgent mess that was Ocean's Twelve, director Steven Soderbergh brings the gang back home to Las Vegas, and proves that there is honour among thieves. George Clooney, as the unflappable Danny Ocean, is a more convincing leader in a heist that isn't about the booty as much as righting wrongs - and fleecing a minted bully in the process. Basically, instead of excluding us from the club, Ocean's Thirteen invites us in and shows us a helluva of a good time.
Danny's old sponsor Reuben (Elliott Gould) sparks the mission when he suffers a heart attack, in response to the hostile takeover of his casino. Willie Bank (Al Pacino with shark teeth) is the ruthless entrepreneur who muscles in on his territory, and invites the wrath of Danny and co. And so begins the prep for the most audacious smash-and-grab operation ever attempted. It's so big Danny swallows his pride and seeks help from old love rival and former mark, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia).
It takes Soderbergh a long while to set the dominoes in place, but he breaks it up with enjoyably silly subterfuge. Weird wigs, fake 'taches and the occasional latex nose give the likes of Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon a chance to show that they're not above poking fun at themselves. As ever the chemistry between the lads - especially Clooney and Pitt - keeps the rhythm snappy, and this time, the emphasis on friendship and loyalty makes them easy to root for. The fight for justice even extends as far as Mexico, where Casey Affleck leads a Marxist 'revolucion!' It's like Robin Hood retold with tuxedos - except the Merry Men remember not to take it all too seriously. Bingo, Thirteen is a lucky number.
Ocean's Thirteen is released in UK cinemas on Friday 8th June 2007.