We took a break last night from all the end-of-term craziness and saw Ocean's 12. The best way I can describe the experience-- which I found delightful-- is by metaphor.
If most of your meals consist of 1 protein, 2 vegetables, and 1 complex carbohydrate -- whether that's standard "meat and sides" or all mixed up together in a pasta dish, stew, or stirfry -- then there's something especially tantalizing about tapas or dim sum. All the little bits of different foods -- it's up to you to combine them however you want, try as many different things you want, explode the concept of what a "meal" is. This movie is kind of like dim sum for your brain.
I liked Ocean's 11 well enough -- it was stylish,well done, and so forth. I never have seen the 1960 original movie, so I didn't have that to compare to. But it was enjoyable enough.
But this one, this was great. Back to the dim sum effect: you've got most of the actors from the first one, plus a couple, each of them simultaneously performing a character and also performing themselves playing the character -- that sounds more self-conscious and irritating than it actually was for me. They seemed like they were having a good time. And they weren't taking the characters too seriously. Instead, it's a romp that deftly swerves here and there into postmodern anachronism, then back into emulation of the caper genre. Throw in several beautiful cities, some awesome clothes, and one really amazing capoeira performance. Style, humor, lots of delicious little morsels for your eyes and brain.
If you want linear plot, if you want character arcs, if you want the standard caper -- then go somewhere where you get "meat and 3 sides." But if you like dim sum, this is your movie.