George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Elliot Gould, Bernie Mac, Carl Reiner
Talk about your impossible capers! Charged with revisiting the cultural milestone that is the seminal, Rat Packed original, director Steven Soderbergh and writer Ted Griffin rose to the challenge with this delightfully wry remake.
The deck is stacked from the beginning and watching Clooney, Pitt, Damon, Roberts, and the rest spray charisma over every available surface is a true joy. The result is a callback to the ensemble comedies of the 1960s; as a glut of stars run through a MacGuffin of a plot for everyone's pleasure, especially their own. Even Andy Garcia's villain comes off looking good, suavely accepting defeat while rocking some decidedly Blofeldian suits.
For those inclined to look beyond the pretty faces, a cast of strong supporting players frequently steals the show. We are treated to the inspired bickering of Scott Caan and Casey Affleck, Elliot Gould at his hilariously sleaziest, and a fittingly funny and emotional curtain call from Carl Reiner.
By the end, we can only be impressed by the filmmakers' ability to infuse a franchise film with that rarest of blockbuster commodities: class. Perhaps nobody was bound to win a Pulitzer, but sheer fun is certainly its own reward.