Headscratchers: Ocean's Eleven
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Rigging Ordinary Slots
- In Ocean's 13, Danny's gang has a way to rig the progressive jackpot on slot machines. When they use it in Banks's casino they had to let a random stranger win the money, because of the fancy infrared computer thing. But they can also use it on some ordinary slot machine in the Las Vegas airport. Why not use that to win a lot of other jackpots? That's hundreds of millions of dollars they could walk off with.
- Danny and his crew are far too classy for that.
- That and there's no challenge. What more exciting? Stealing millions on dollars in an Ocean's-esque heist or rigging slot machines?
- THAT, and the fact was that they weren't trying to get money for themselves, they were trying to screw with Bank by letting strangers walk out with all his cash. 'Cause, you know, it was personal.
Livingston and Roman
- In Ocean's 13, Livingston manages to convince Roman to help him rig the blackjack machines, but once he is arrested a spanner is thrown into the works in the form of Bank tracking his fingerprints. Since the group knew ahead of time that Bank had access to the federal fingerprint database, isn't that something Livingston should have taken into account before saving his own ass at the expense of the rest of the operation?
- It's implied that this was part of the Batman Gambit: Roman was comfortably in place and ready to step in, and the FBI agent who arrested Livingston was also an undercover heist member (specifically, Linus' dad).
- True, but Livingston specifically asked Roman to keep his asking for help on "the down-low". Thus, if Roman did so, none of the other crew members would have known that Livingston's arrest was just as planned. It's possible Roman could have agreed to help and then told Danny and the others without Livingston's knowledge, but it still shows an uncharacteristic lack of planning when they have to scramble to keep Livingston's identity and known associates (i.e., themselves) out of Bank's system. And Roman couldn't have turned Livingston down, and then shown up anyway, because when he's arrested Livingston gives the little smirk in the squad car that says that being taken away and his machines replaced is just what he wanted.
- A new wrinkle that is introduced that I just now noticed after rewatching the movie: Well after the point when Livingston is supposedly arrested, he is back on the communicator telling Rusty exactly which slot machine to prime for the back door program, with no surprise from Rusty or anything to indicate that his being there is in any way out of the ordinary.
- I had thought all of the above had been done to throw Terry Benedict off. They knew he had hired Toulour to double-cross them, and thought it likely that he'd be tapping their phones as well, so they made it seem like Roman was outside the plan, and that Livingston getting arrested was a Spanner in the Works, when really, it was all part of their plan.
- The plan was for Livingston to get arrested to fool Bank into accepting the rigged machines. They knew that Bank had contacts with the FBI, but either they didn't take into account the possibility of Bank using that connection to check Livingston's fingerprints and find his associates, or they expected for that search to take more time to begin, giving Livingston the chance to make those changes.
- What did Willy Bank do that was so bad? In the scene where he and Reuben meet, he tells Reuben that their deal is off and that Reuben is going to sell his shares in the casino back to Bank. Reuben does, then immediately has a heart attack. Except that there was absolutely no reason for Reuben to give in. Bank didn't threaten or force him or appear to have any leverage at all. What was to stop Reuben from saying, "Go soak your head, Bank. You can't force me to sell."
- Except the part where, when Reuben asks "What, are you going to throw me off the roof?" Bank says, "If I have to." So, yeah, there was some force involved.
- Bank says, "I don't want to." But if that's the angle, then Reuben was just Too Dumb to Live, going up to a high building in the middle of the night to meet with somebody who would be willing to throw him off.
- Reuben didn't believe that Bank was going to do something like that to him. When he says "What, are you going to throw me off the roof," he's being sarcastic. Essentially, he is telling Bank that Bank can't force him to sell. Until it happened, he didn't expect Bank to screw him over at all. And even if Reuben did expect Bank to try and cheat him out of half of an expensive casino, there's a big gap between a hard-dealing businessman and a murderer. So when Bank suddenly implies that he's willing to kill Reuben, it comes as a shock and a surprise.
- But I thought it's mentioned later that Banks has a history of ruthlessness, surely Reuben's should have seen it coming. On that note, given this is Banks' fifth (or 6th or whatever) casino/hotel, surely he either has the bad rep already or why does he suddenly flip and become evil, it must be one of the two.
- It was actually sort of mentioned when Ruben goes on his whole spiel about defending Bank and having faith that he (Bank) wouldn't screw over Reuben as Bank had done to all his prior partners.
- And, besides, they both "shook Sinatra's hand". There's an understanding between guys like that. Unless you're a schmuck. Reuben didn't realize Banks was a schmuck, despite being warned about him. (Y'know, when you put quotes around "shook Sinatra's hand", it looks like it means something dirty, doesn't it? Or is it just me?)
- It's not just you.
- The SWAT officers at the end. Why did they have the containers they had in the first movie? Surely someone thought -that- was odd.
- Who's going to question SWAT officers in the middle of a mission? Besides, they had a good reason for it, they needed to rappel down into the vault with the stopped elevator and then breach the door. So they have gear with them.
- After The Reveal, I figured they brought the hooker flyers in, and carried the money out.
- No, the bags on their backs are clearly empty when they're on their way in.
- And the hooker flyers have left the casino before the "Swat team" arrives (see below).
- In Ocean's 11, where did the flyers filling the bags come from? They can't fit in the trolley Yen hid in. You see him pull empty bags out of the trolley. They weren't brought by Linus (Who had only a small briefcase), nor by Danny (who wasn't supposed to be there, brought nothing). They weren't brought by the "SWAT team", because the bags leave the vault LONG before the SWAT team gets to the vault. How did the bags make it into the vault, so they could be delivered out of it? And the bags HAD to be full of flyers, or Benedict's people would've noticed the fact the bags contained nothing.
- In one of the commentary tracks on the DVD, someone points this out and admits it was a screwup on the part of the writers.
Twice the gear
- So the original plan in 11 was for Danny to be the NGC representative and to go down the elevator alone. That plan died when Danny made himself known to Benedict, forcing Linus to step up. Danny later come up with his own side-plan (not telling Linus or the others) so he can go in the vault and help the others. Except... Why did Linus' suitcase contain TWO sets of climbing gear to rappel down the shaft? If the plan never called for more than one person doing it, why bring twice the gear?
- Nope. Danny being there was always part of the plan; Linus was probably the only one at that point who genuinely thought Danny was actually "out". It was a test for Linus, to have him prove himself to Danny and Rusty. Note how nobody at all is surprised when Danny is in the vault except Linus. Linus's suitcase had two sets of gear because Danny was always supposed to be there.
- And Linus never asked about the second set of gear because ...? And don't tell me he never checked the suitcase, no one would not check on the gear upon which THEIR LIVES depends on.
- Indeed. And if your life is going to depend on the gear, better to double up on it just in case if you can fit it, right?
- I'll grant you that, but that'd be nice if any of this had been shown on film. Admittedly the part about Danny still being in makes sense (coz he's the one that reverse pickpockets the cellphone onto Tess).
- If any of it had been shown on film it would've given the whole sequence away.
- Nope. Flashbacks, like they did for the swat team or Danny putting the cell on Tess. Plenty of ways to resolve this.
- I'm not sure there's much needing to be resolved, really. The most important information (that Danny is there and the whole thing was part of the plan) is given to you by Danny's presence and when he says it was a test to Linus ("You didn't trust me?" "I do now."). Him having two sets of equipment is a fairly minor detail, and a flashback on that would've just been, "Hey, why's there two pulleys?" "Oh, one's a backup."
- Speaking of which, the "backup Pulley excuse" makes no sense anyway. If the pulley stops working halfway down the shaft, it's not like he can pull the spare one out of his ass and use it. He's got 30 seconds and no means of climbing back up!
- Sure it makes sense. You'd wear both at once so you have redundancy on the way down. If one screws up somehow, you've got the other one already attached.
- So besides the distraction to the security team in the info center, what purpose did Saul have? At all? Yen could've easily pocketed with him the explosives to blow the door, seeing as they're not much larger than the pins used to blow them, and the big Ella Fitzgerald (The taping switch) could've been done right after the pinch blew anyways.
- Tying up Benedict's second in command in the info center, so Benedict cannot pass Linus off to him in order to go to the boxing match (He's in a hurry after all), and thus Linus can pickpocket the codes off Benedict. Also, the tapping switch could not wait for the pinch, as Yen would've run out of air.
- So then I guess I'm going to ask why the explosives needed to be in the briefcase in the first place. Is there any other reason that other than Rule of Cool?
- Well, you gotta get a briefcase in the vault anyway, may as well get the explosives down there while at it? Yen's already in a tiny box with 6 empty duffle bags and an air bottle, guess every bit of free room he gets he will like?
- But they ran those explosives under the possible eye of casino security. I guess they were lucky that only Benedict handled and observed the explosives, who knows what might have happened if someone more specialized took a look?
- Look at how Benedict searches the case. He just lifts the tray holding the explosives out and puts it to the side, disregarding it entirely, because he has no reason to suspect that the "jewels" were anything besides what they looked like. You'd probably need to do a considerably more indepth study on them to figure out what they really are, and it's highly unlikely that's part of the place's standard operating procedure.
Also, having the explosives in the briefcase gives Saul an excuse to be in the security room. If he's not there, he can't distract Benedict's second in command, and the whole thing goes to pot.
- I meant, why did the explosives have to be the jewels in the first place, not why they needed the jewels— but I know the answer to that, because it's cool. I thought it was cool, too.
- Not just because it's cool, but because they know the briefcase will be searched carefully and the best way to keep the explosives from being discovered is to make them look like something that's supposed to be in the briefcase. Saul tells Benedict he has something valuable he wants stored in the vault, Benedict opens the case and sees "jewels," and sets them aside to search the rest of the case for anything hidden, which he doesn't find because the only thing "hidden" in the case is the one thing he's already stopped paying attention to.
- Also, the pinch can't be used to do the camera switch: You can't hack a network if it's powered down. They had to do the camera switch before or after the pinch went on. No other way around it.
- The second reason Saul was there, other than what's been mentioned above, is because he needed to provide a distraction (faking a heart attack) for when Linus is inevitably spotted on the cameras. He goes down, the camera operator runs over to help, and Livingston loops the camera's feeds while they're not looking.
Tess and Terry
- In Ocean's Eleven Tess tells Danny she left him because she was tired of his dishonesty and that she was fed up with him putting his "work" above her. Why on Earth did she go for Terry Benedict then, considering he's the epitome of the workaholic and while Danny's only a thief, Benedict's reputed to be a murderer? There's no way she could have missed the fact that Terry's married to his work and there's no way she could have not heard the rumors.
- Coz, probably that Terry laid some sweet moves on her. He offers her a job that lets them see each other at work (thus negating the workaholic part). Presumably Terry's skills at romance outweigh a few rumors. Also, the scene seems to indicate that it's not the stealing she objected to, but that Danny had lied on being a thief.
- Regarding Saul, why is he always eating Life Savers? I mean, wouldn't a constant intake of sugary candy make ulcer pains WORSE?
- They're not lifesavers. They're Tums, or some other ulcer-helping medication.
- The somewhat infamous use of Tess's resemblance of Julia Roberts as a plot device brings up a number of questions involving the Celebrity Paradox. The most obvious one is, of course, why does no body recognize Danny, Rusty, and Linus as George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon, not to mention the rest of the Eleven. Made worse by the film's All-Star Cast, making every character played by an actor people would recognize. This brings up the additional, smaller question of what the in-universe Julia Roberts was doing rather than filming Ocean's Eleven at the time she was (Assuming the movie doesn't exist in this universe, otherwise the Eleven would be rather creeped out about the film perfectly imitating their lives), which opens the floodgates for a whole ton of other questions involving whether or not actors and movies exist in the Ocean's Eleven universe... The only possible comprehensible explanation is that all the actors that exist in our universe exist in theirs, but Julia Roberts is the only one that looks the same in both, though this leaves questions about the Ocean's Eleven movie's existence open, and doesn't cover the effects that the actor's different looks would have on their careers in-universe as opposed to ours... Yeah, it's a bit of a Headscratcher explosion.
- Just because Julia Roberts and Bruce Willis exist in their universe doesn't mean anyone else has to.
- And furthermore, Reality Is Unrealistic. I work with a guy who has a strong to Noah Antwiler. That doesn't mean the guy I work with is Noah Antwiler nor would I think anything other than "Hey, that guy looks like The Spoony One." I do call him "Spoony", though.
- As someone who looks a lot like Harry Potter (and that was before I got glasses), I'll say that most friends of celebrity look-alikes learn quickly not to bring it up.
Julia Roberts ploy
- Why, exactly, was the Julia Roberts ploy necessary in Ocean's Twelve? The actual plan involved them getting caught (so Rusty could get Isabel back), they just figured they would get caught after pulling the (staged) job. All the ploy did was get the others arrested as well, when they could have easily just stayed put when everyone was picked up in front of the museum the first time. There's no reason for it. 1) The Night Fox already thinks they're busted and he's won, they don't need to actually fake the attempt for his benefit. 2) Getting Isabel back happened during their extradition, which happens either way.
- The Julia Roberts plot was necessary for the Night Fox's benefit. If he saw all but three of the Eleven get arrested, and the other three just walked away, he would be more suspicious than if the remaining three tried a new job. Especially since walking away would mean Benedict would have them killed. They had to look absolutely desperate to get the job done.
Benedict Outsourcing his Beatings?
- Why does Benedict hire an outsider to beat up Danny. Besides the fact that he runs the risk of Danny overpowering the guy (Since he's not restrained or anything), he's already got two sizeable goons who do his goon work for him and whom he clearly trusts enough to send them to find Danny. Not counting that bribing two guys is harder than one.
- Deniability. If Danny (or someone else who gets this treatment) tries to sue Benedict over it, it's easy to shift the blame onto the random bruiser who is not legally on his payroll. If he had his actual thugs do it, it would be too easy to nail him to the wall.
Lasers (Ocean's Twelve)
- Don't the lasers need a set of receptors? The point of laser grids is that the alarm is sounded if the beams are BROKEN, if the lasers AREN'T shining on a receptor. These lasers are pointing at empty floor.
- And in case that isn't a problem, the grid is said to be changing "randomly". Night Fox would need access to the RNG, and calculate a dance hours in advance. If he were THAT deep into the network, couldn't he just shut the lasers off?