Monday, January 7, 2008

Ocean's Twelve in the Office

Here's a perspective on Ocean's Twelve that got me really excited. I'm not sure if the screenwriters meant to write it as an office culture and interpersonal dynamics sort of movie, but it's a cool twist on a conventional action/thievery film. Some say that Ocean's Twelve abides by the "Sequels usually suck" principle but I disagree.

Maybe it's more obvious for anyone who has worked a full time office job. George Clooney and Brad Pitt did an awesome job of playing two company CEOs of a professional thievery consultancy but really the thievery could be a metaphor for any company since we're all rooting for Ocean's Twelve when we watch it. You've got all the aspects of business involved.

Barriers to Entry: Catherine Zeta-Jones is the talented detective Lahiri who wants to prevent Ocean's Eleven from succeeding at their task
Competition: Thanks to the talented and arrogant young thief, Francois Toulour, Ocean's Eleven can't get to their objective without Toulour attempting to get at it first.
Partners: You've got your business partners, and in this case one guy who makes their holographic egg.
Stakeholders: Terry Benedict plays the sinister stakeholder who wants his money and fast, so he is as invested in Ocean's Eleven's success as much as they are although their motivations are different.
International relations: There's international business travel, Shen as a rather talented business consultant, and the scene itself in Italy and France. Also, they know a ton of people, have a huge network and worry about their reputations so that they can continue working in the business.

Rookie/Entry-level thief:
My favorite one is the portrayal of Linus Caldwell, the rookie. He's new to the game, wants to play a larger role, stammers when he begs Rusty Ryan for more responsibility. He's got the skills, the motivation and a new-generation respect for morality. It's so comforting to get to know Linus in Ocean's Twelve, because I can relate to him and know that anyone in business is going to be embarrassed once in a while. I loved one of the beginning scenes where they meet Matsui for a job because it is so true: when you go to a business meeting for at least the first few times, everyone else might as well be speaking a different language. That changes, of course, once the rookie is acclimated to the industry language. The movie is awesome and great inspiration on how to run a good business, but mind you, Hollywood is the only place where they can use thievery as a metaphor for corporations.

I'll post a few lines of the movie soon that really hint at the business culture slant of this film.

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