BACON AT THE MOVIES: OCEAN'S FLAWED; OCEAN'S TWELVE Action Cert 12A.
IF you live near a city, dear readers, you might have seen the posters for Ocean's Twelve on the back of buses - they say: Twelve is the new Eleven.
That's not Europe interfering with our decimal system, it's about Ocean's Twelve being a sequel to Ocean's Eleven.
I think the marketing folk who dreamt up that slogan could do even better. Something more to the point, like: Twelve will make you wish we'd stopped at Eleven, or just: Ocean's Twelve isn't a very good film.
First off, I am a fan of Ocean's Eleven. Like their heist, it was pulled off with flair, style, panache and split-second timing.
If that film is like an international diamond thief from the South of France, then this is like an overweight, alcoholic burglar from Uxbridge, who falls downstairs and gets stuck in a window frame.
In the last film, the gang nicknamed Ocean's Eleven took $160 million from the supposedly impenetrable Las Vegas vault of casino owner Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia). Now, Benedict wants his money back with added interest. Ironically, that's similar to what I wanted - from the cinema.
We're not really told how he tracked them down, but never mind, there's other bits coming up that make even less sense.
The crew have to get back together for another heist to repay him. Cue Danny Ocean (George Clooney), Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) and a load of others whose characters' names don't get used very often.
They head for Rome, because (and this is true) the cast liked it there when they did the press conference for the first film in the Italian capital.
Which makes this one of those rare films that follows the same editorial principles as The Holiday Programme.
Anyway, they run up against Euro master-thief The Night Fox (Frenchman Vincent Cassel, who's the best thing in it - even if his best scene is taken wholesale from the flick Entrapment) and Europol agent Catherine Zeta Jones (whose big break was, er, doing that bit in Entrapment that they've nicked).
Whereas Eleven was a tense single heist conducted by 11 criminals at the top of their game, Twelve is a couple of tensionless smaller heists perpetrated by 12 wannabe wiseguy stand-up comedians.
And that's the problem: The all-star, all-bezza mates cast. It's hard to shake the feeling that they're just treating this as a bit of a laugh. A lot of it is just them hanging out and being smart with one another, while the storyline sits in a corner and waits for them to finish.
The final heist might be the most unusual post-modern idea ever seen in this type of bums-on-seats movie, and you'll either love it or hate it (I won't spoil it for you - they've done a good enough job themselves).
But to give you an idea, it's kinda the equivalent of flashing up a notice in Jaws that reads: The shark isn't real. But your spell will be broken long before that. And there's a far more original sleight of hand.
In fact, the multi-million dollar heist is genius. It's just that it's YOUR money they're taking. Tell the police. Now!
CRIMINAL: George Clooney's new heist has lost all its flair