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In Ocean's 11, the characters are worried that they'll run out of time and Yen will suffocate. But when he eventually leaves the cart he's hiding in, he opens it himself without any trouble.

If Yen can get out of the cart on his own, why would he suffocate?

Even if the cart wasn't delivered to the vault in time, he could still pop out and just get caught.


Some times that they mention the possibility of Yen suffocating:

  • In Rueben's house the night before:

    RUSTY: At 7:30, Yen gets locked in and we're committed. From this point, we have 30 minutes to blow the power or he suffocates.

  • When they put Yen into the cart:

    RUSTY: Amazing! How does that feel? You all right? Want something to read? A magazine?

    YEN's hand pops up showing his middle finger.

    RUSTY: Alright. Counting down. Thirty minutes of breathing time starts... now.

  • During the heist, right before they detonate the Pinch:

    LIVINGSTON: Basher, we're set.

    BASHER: Hang on a minute, chief.

    LIVINGSTON: We don't have a minute. Yen's gonna suffocate.

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The inference of the 'Yen will suffocate' statement often repeated, is actually "Yen will suffocate UNLESS HE GETS OUT OF THE CART", which would completely blow the heist.

Yen will stay in the cart as long as possible to ensure the heist goes according to plan, but when his tank runs out of air he has two options; suffocate, or get out and go to Jail.

They wouldn't necessarily expand on this directly through the dialogue, but it would appear obvious.

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I believe that its because he has a small tank of air, that only lasts for 30 min. The crew seems the most concerned about this when the briefcase is placed on top of his exit for the box, which makes it more difficult for him to escape. At that point the 30 min of air plotline is still important.

  • It's been a while since I watched the movie, but I believe this is correct. Specifically, the worry might not be that Yen will actually suffocate, but that he will be forced to get out, setting off alarms, if the others don't disable the power before he'd run out of air. – V2Blast Mar 5 '18 at 4:11

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