Ocean's Twelve

Editors' review

June 17, 2016

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Much like Ocean's Twelve itself, David Holmes' score for the movie doesn't try to fix something that wasn't broken in the first place: the composer returns with more eclectic music of his own and from what must be a formidably large record collection. His approach may not be radically different here than it was on Ocean's Eleven, but when the results are this effortlessly hip and easygoing, no drastic changes are necessary. Reflecting the film's different scenery, Holmes uses mellow Italian pop and French psych-rock from the late '60s and early '70s, giving the score a warmer, more organic and focused feeling than the first movie's flashy, Vegas-inspired music had. He's equally good at selecting tracks from other artists as he is at crafting his own work: tracks such as Ornella Vanoni's breezy, sensual "L'Appuntamento" are esoteric, but not off-puttingly so. Though he could've just gone for kitsch, most of Holmes' picks aren't so much campy as they are cool but forgotten. However, things do get gloriously campy on John Schroeder's bizarro psych-rock/easy listening fusion "Explosive Corrosive Joseph" and Dave Grusin's "Ascension to Virginity," which, with its endless "la la la"s and shimmying guitars, is kitsch at its best. Piero Umiliani's mysterious "Crepuscolo Sul Mare" is another gorgeous Italian piece, and Roland Vincent's "L.S.D. Partie" and Dynastie Crisis' "Faust 72" are great examples of France's strange but extremely stylish version of psych-rock. Indeed, Holmes' vintage selections are so strong that his tracks often feel like they were written to support and showcase the older material. "What R We Stealing"'s fuzz bass sounds right at home next to the previously mentioned tracks, and the hammered dulcimers that pop up on "Lifting the Building" and throughout the score add to the exotic sound. "Stealing the Stock (into) Le Renard de Nuit" sounds like a French beatnik take on spy music; "$165 Million + Interest (into) The Round Up" begins as a psych-rock jam and evolves into a lumbering, brass-driven melody that's mischievous but also slightly menacing. "10:35 I Turn Off Camera 3" and the tense, percussive "The Real Story" have the harder-edged, more current sound of most of Holmes' work, but overall, the score is a testament to his versatility. While it's just as fun as the Ocean's Eleven soundtrack was, Ocean's Twelve manages to be subtler and more distinctive in its mix of old and new sounds.