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Ocean's 12 as Plautine Comedy

From: Syllecta Classica
Volume 20 (2009)
pp. 135-170 | 10.1353/syl.2010.0004



In 2002, the director Steven Soderbergh produced Ocean's 11, a caper movie that received considerable critical acclaim; two years later he produced a sequel, Ocean's 12, which was viewed far less favourably by critics. In Ocean's 12, Soderbergh took the format of the caper movie, with its crafty and likeable rogue heroes, but imposed onto it a complicated but carefully composed structure, and a strong dose of metatheatricality. Because of the combination of these elements, Ocean's 12 is highly Plautine in nature. A study of the modern movie can therefore greatly enhance the appreciation of this greatest of Roman comedians, while Plautine research enables an understanding of what Soderbergh was attempting to do when he made Ocean's 12.

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