There’s almost nowhere to go but down for any film series that kicks off with a widely-acclaimed opening installment which gets held up as one of the greatest remakes to ever come out of Hollywood, something the Ocean’s franchise discovered sooner than it would like when the sequel arrived three years later.
One of the most self-indulgent and smug scenes of 21st Century occurs within, where Julia Roberts’ Tess goes undercover posing as A-list superstar Julia Roberts, where she bumps into Bruce Willis making a cameo appearance as himself. There’s smart self-awareness, and then there’s whatever this was supposed to be, with Steven Soderbergh and company almost doubling over backwards to send the heist capers disappearing up their own ass.
Ocean’s Thirteen righted a couple of the wrongs, and while it was definitely a marked improvement on its predecessor, it resolutely failed to hold a candle to the original. That being said, a recent Reddit thread reminiscing on the star-studded breezy crime thrillers has seen a surprising amount of support emerge for the trio as a whole, and not just the vastly superior first entry.
It’s not like the Ocean’s adventures are over, either, with the female-led Eight being followed by a completely unnecessary in-development prequel that’s set to reunite Barbie duo Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. Eleven was awesome, Twelve was a self-congratulatory celebrity circle jerk, and Thirteen was a reliably solid slab of blockbuster entertainment, a sentiment that seems to be shared by even the most critical of jewel-thieving aficionados.