The Ocean’s Trilogy was one of the first “Super-Group” movies to be released. The star-studded cast and the fun and exciting storylines combined to make three delightful and memorable movies.
Whether you learned how to play casino games with your friends or were given insight into the mind of a casino thief, the Ocean’s Trilogy may have been slightly far-fetched, but they were incredible movies either way. While these may be modern-day remakes, they revitalized the story and the heist genre.
Ocean’s Eleven is the first chapter in the trilogy where we are introduced to the star-studded cast. George Clooney plays the role of Danny Ocean, a newly released thief who already has his next job planned.
He is joined by Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, Elliot Gould, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Eddie Jamison, Don Cheadle, Shaobo Qin, and Carl Reiner. Ocean puts this group together to help him pull off a massive casino robbery.
Andy Garcia plays Terry Benedict, the casino owner, with Julia Roberts playing Tess Ocean, Danny’s ex-wife and Benedict’s partner. The story is simple, Danny is released from prison and meets up with Rusty (Brad Pitt) to plan a heist in Las Vegas.
The plan consists of robbing three of the biggest casinos in Vegas, the Bellagio, the Mirage, and the MGM Grand. After recruiting the crew mentioned above, they plan to rob all three casinos simultaneously on the night of a massive boxing match, as the vaults will be full of cash.
Pulling off the heist using some faked footage and pretending to be a SWAT team, Danny asks Benedict to trade the cash for Tess, Benedict agrees. This was all a ruse as Benedict never gets his money back. Danny is arrested for a parole violation and is subsequently released just as the movie ends.
Following the heist theme, the 2004 sequel starts with Terry Benedict locating all of Ocean’s associates, demanding they return the $160 million they stole. Unable to scrape together even half, another heist is planned, this time in Europe.
After receiving a tip-off for the first-ever stock certificate, they determine that is the way to get the money they need. However, they discover that the certificate has already been stolen by a fellow thief, the Night Fox.
After figuring out the identity of the Night Fox and confronting him, he challenges Danny; if Danny can steal a world-famous Faberge egg, the Night Fox will repay his debt to Benedict. Through trickery, backstabbing, and deception, Danny gets his hands on the egg, and the Night Fox repays the debt.
The final movie in the trilogy is Ocean’s Thirteen. Going back to their casino-robbing roots, Danny and his crew assemble to take down a casino built by Willy Bank. Bank was working with Reuben Tishkoff, a close friend of Danny, and after suffering a heart attack, Bank forces Reuben to sign over the ownership rights he has to their casino.
An elaborate plan is hatched to not only rob the casino but to stop it from receiving the coveted Five Diamond Award, an award all of Bank’s casinos have received before. After terrorizing the Five Diamond reviewer, the first part of the plan is accomplished.
The second part involves rigging all of the machines and paying off dealers to ensure every player wins but simultaneously taking down the Greco security system, which protects the whole casino and prevents theft and cheating.
Using a rigged cellphone, a drill used for the Channel Tunnel, and a fake earthquake, they pull the heist off, making the players rich and Bank is forced to close down shop.
Reception and Impact
As mentioned in the beginning, these may be remakes of an older series, but they are the movies that revitalized and brought the heist genre back to life. The remake of another classic heist film, the Italian Job, also helped with this rebirth.
The Ocean’s Trilogy was a box office smash, with both moviegoers and critics praising the acting and storyline. Having an all-star cast isn’t a guarantee for success, yet these movies pulled it off brilliantly.
The films are packed with moments of intrigue, action, humour, and wit, with the cast playing off of each other like they are all life-long friends. They are also so much fun to watch, a series of movies that don’t take themselves too seriously.
It is also safe to say that the Ocean’s movies paved the way for modern-day heist films. The Italian Job, alongside Inside Man, the new Ocean’s 8, and even the Fast and the Furious series.
These critically acclaimed films may not have been made if it wasn’t for the success of the Ocean’s Trilogy. If you haven’t been able to watch them yet, watch them as soon as you can. If you have seen them already, you know that there is a ton of rewatchability.