This second installment of the story of _Ocean’s Eleven _comes off brilliantly. If you want a hint about the movie, I’ll try not to give too much away, but it’s worth remembering that these are master con artists, not bank robbers or art thieves. As with the first movie, there’s far more going on than we get to see … until the signature flashback fills in the gaps.

The plot summaries I’ve read must have been written by people who had read other plot summaries. Most of what I’ve read about consists of 3 simultaneous heists in Amsterdam, Rome and Paris, while being pursued by Terry Benedict. While that’s true in a way, it’s completely bogus in another. Terry Benedict is what gets them back together, and there are heists in Europe. But it’s not like the first one where they are robbing 3 casinos at once. It’s a very convoluted and exciting plot. Where almost all the characters from the first movie play some role … including Topher Grace as himself.

What appealed to me most was that the storyline deviated significantly from the original. Although in the end there is a “big heist”, there are so many other things going on. And twists coming out of the woodwork. From the introduction of two new characters, and others as the story progresses, to the serious setbacks along the way. I liked that we got some idea of what’s been happening to our heroes over the last three years, and that getting that part of the story was part of the story itself. The discussion of how one of the characters looks like a famous actor was hilarious!

Some unexpected cameos: Bruce Willis, Albert Finney and Robbie Coltrane (Come on, Cracker? How appropriate is that?)

8 saltines out of 10