Three years after Ocean's 11, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) is still furious with loosing $150 million in the groups first heist. He expects the team to pay back the money, with interest, or risk being thrown in jail. Danny Ocean (George Clooney) reluctantly gathers his gang of con-artists and thieves and plans three separate heists in Europe. With a dedicated Europol agent and a mysterious French rival in the midst, the team must pull of yet another amazing plan.

2.5
Loose as a goose, convoluted, and more a vanity project than the inspired movie.

Steven Soderbergh's remake of Ocean's 11 – the infamous Brat Pack heist movie from 1960 starring Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr – was a smash hit around the world when it was released in 2001. Ocean's 12 picks up three years later, adding Catherine Zeta-Jones to its already star-studded cast.

Casino owner Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) is "not happy Jan," and sets about visiting the eleven thieves who so rudely denuded his Las Vegas establishment of $160 million three years ago. Benedict wants his money back, 'with interest,' and won't take no for an answer.

Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his band of merry villains reluctantly reunite to devise some way of meeting this very tall order. This time their quest takes them from America to Europe, Amsterdam then Italy. A series of heists is the only way they're going to find enough cash to save their hides. This is very much an Italian Job. Fittingly then European cast members make their way into Ocean's 12.

Catherine Zeta-Jones, who worked with Soderbergh on his Oscar-winning drugs n' politics tract Traffic, puts in the most disciplined performance of the film playing Pitt's ex Isobel, who also just happens to be an ace Interpol agent hot on his trail. Comedian Eddie Izzard (Shadow Of The Vampire) makes a brief appearance as criminal effects-whiz Roman Nagel, while French superstar Vincent Cassel (Irreversible) goes front and centre as Danny Ocean's arch-thief-nemesis Francois Toulour. None of this helps though.

As taut and terrific as Ocean's 11 was, Oceans 12 is just the opposite: loose as a goose, convoluted, more a vanity project than the inspired movie Soderbergh usually delivers (see The Limey ,1999, Out of Sight ,1998, and his 2002 Solaris). Which ironically makes Ocean's 12 more akin to the original 1960 film than anything approximating his snappy remake, as the original Ocean's 11 was also just a bunch of Hollywood buddies getting together to see what might happen on screen.

As a fan of the Ocean's 11 remake, which was a fabulously entertaining piece of pop, I was severely disappointed by this totally sloppy sequel. Where was the zing that made the first so cool and beguiling? Steven Soderbergh is one of America's most interesting and talented contemporary directors so it is truly disappointing to see him deliver such a lazy piece of work. Clearly his heart wasn't in it.

In my opinion Soderbergh has only ever failed a couple of times before and then only with Schizopolis (1996) and Full Frontal (2000), two pieces of interesting and experimental but ultimately unwatchable pieces of cinema. I now have to add Ocean's 12 to his list of bad movies.

That doesn't make him a bad director though. He is still one of the best in my book.