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Here Comes the Competition - Ocean's Twelve (2004)

February 17, 2018


When you make it to the top, make a name for yourself and the stakes are raised, expect that someone is always out there to take your place.


Achieving success in pulling off the perfect heist leaves you millions richer, but it's not going to stay that way. In A/E/C marketing competition is the tide we ride, and it governs every strategic move you make. Whether deciding to go/no go a proposal, choosing a teaming partner, having lunch with a client or hiring talent, competition is everywhere. In continuing with the stylishly European flow of the second installment in this trilogy, Ocean's Eleven, now Ocean's Twelve, must pay the piper and Terry Benedict wants his money back, plus interest. 


The Review

Taking place in various locations across Europe, Danny Ocean and his crew must outsmart and outsteal a high profile thief that has heard of their fame and wants to prove that he is the superior thief. Their lives are on the line since they have been found by Terry Benedict, from whom they stole $165 million in the previous installment of the series. While they fend off Benedict, an ex-flame of Rusty's and Europol investigator played by Catherine Zeta-Jones is hot on their trail and determined to stop them.


Feuds date back as far as Cane and Abel, where one rises, another wishes to replace them. The other half of this feud is the Nightfox, an impeccable thief trained by a legend in the field. Though the crew faces competition from all sides, from Benedict seeking redemption to Investigator Lahiri claiming her catch, the real competition in the story comes down to Ocean's Twelve and the Nightfox. The challenge put forth is to steal a famous Faberge Coronation Egg. If Ocean's Twelve gets to it before the Nightfox, their debt to Benedict is paid. So Ocean and his crew find themselves in the only situation that can get them out of their possibly fatal predicament. 


Danny Ocean and his crew have their money and their lives at stake. Winning this competition is the only way out. Plot twists abound as Ocean's Twelve find themselves overwhelmed and overcome. Their real victory lies in not only thinking outside the box, but stepping out of it as well. How do they beat their competition and reclaim their lives? By changing the rules of the game itself. Plotholes and drama aside, the sequel is a solid and fun film with a good story. Once again, the team rides on the brink of failure, keeping the audience on their toes until it's revealed that they had a plan all along.


The Take

Competition in the business world often results in rivalry. The same could be said for any business operating today. Coke will always have its Pepsi, Apple will always have Microsoft, and so on. Many brands exist, but in any given competition, it usually boils down to a few, or maybe even two. The A/E/C business is no different, for any proposal there are several firms to choose from. The shortlist is the result of the most qualified firms in tight competition for the prize, and in some cases, produces a fierce rivalry with a lot at stake. So how do Ocean's Twelve win in the end?


They do what any smart business in this industry would do, they research their competitors, even talk with them, size up their situation and options, and in the end, go right to the source of the challenge. No one is going to tell you as much as you need to win in the time before the competition, or in this case pursuit, as much as the client. Business Developers know this, and so do master thieves. Ocean and his crew prevail again because they do what it takes to turn the competition, or in this case rivalry, to their favor before even beginning. In a smart, bold, and maybe even desperate move, they learn about their rival, the Nightfox, as well as his skills and plans, from LeMarc; legendary thief and mentor to the Nightfox. From this move, in the last 15 or so minutes of the film, the truth of the film and the nature of competition is revealed. The competition is a ruse in of itself, and once you put it in the proper perspective, doesn't even really exist in the first place. The only challenge that exists, the real competition to focus on, is the pursuit, the client and their goals. "Know thine enemy" is still an eternal truth, and while you should know the playing field and its players, the challenge you should know better than anything is your client's goal.


Ruben sums it up in the final scene with Terry Benedict in the best and most simple of ways:

"These grudges, they're awful nobody wins. Danny's had enough of this messugah. And the competition is worse than our business. Always some young punk trying to prove themselves." 


Now to really learn the moves you will need to win, here is the Nightfox and how to dance your way through a field of lasers.



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