Ocean’s 8 Film Review
Seventeen years after the release of the first film in Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy, Ocean’s 8 is now being introduced. This time with an all female cast cast, and a brand new director, Ocean’s 8 is arguably one of the most anticipated and hated movies of the year. But did it deliver? In entertainment yes… Originality… Not so much.
Danny Ocean’s younger sister Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) is the leader of Ocean’s 8. At the very beginning of the movie she’s paroled from a 5 year prison sentence and almost instantly assembles a team to help her with the next heist. Stealing $150 million Cartier necklace, from the Met Gala. The necklace called The Toussaint will be worn by the air-headed celebrity Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) at the most famous gala at the Metropolitan museum of art, and the job will prove to be more complicated than previously anticipated. Luckily Debbie has her partner Lou (Cate Blanchett) on her side, but also a whole team of skilled professionals, thieves and hackers to get the job done.
Ocean’s 8 is fun and enjoyable movie for the most part. With the exception of some stalling scenes, the pace and overall development of the movie is kept light, energetic and fast. The fact that the movies is 110 minutes long doesn’t hurt, but I also liked the chemistry between the two Oscar winners (Sandra and Kate) and you can say safely say that they’re the mother hens of the group. They’re the leaders, the protectors and the logistics masterminds behind the job. And they’re kept that way until the very end. But despite Sandra and Cate being solid here you can’t sadly say the same rest of the cast.
There are some pretty fantastic actresses in this group and sadly they’re not given the opportunity to shine equally. You see, since each of the characters in defined by their job, and not by their personality, they’re not treated equally. Which is quite a shame since, there are plenty of talented actresses in those roles. Helena Bonham Carter is a delight as the ditzy, disgraced fashion designer Rose Weil, and Anne Hathaway is just awesome here as the cliché of every Hollywood actress ever.
But you can’t say that the cast isn’t eclectic. Rihanna, Aquafina, Sarah Paulson, Mindi Kaling are also there, but fail to impress with their performances. And yes, despite being an all female reboot of a classic, some men are in this picture. Although miscast and under-appreciated Richard Armitage is here and so is James Corden. He arrives in the final 30 minutes or so and despite not having much to do here, he’s a welcomed addition to this movie. I was pleasantly surprised by his comedic talent, since i’m not a big fan of his hosting skills.
You can’t also fault the director for getting down with business here… Fast. After having similar parole hearing intro scene (similar to George Clooney in Ocean’s Eleven), Gary Ross and Olivia Milch assemble the team pretty fast. And while most is revealed about Debbie, the other characters suffer from lack of background story and therefore from lack of interest. Our interest. Seriously, did you remembered anything noteworthy about Cate Blancett’s or Aquafina’s character after you left the movie theater? Sure Bonham Carter was her quirky self and Cate rocked the glam rock style in almost every scene, but not much else. On and I must mention that the assembling the Ocean’s 8 team took way more than the heist of the film . I wanted to find out more about the logistics, the process and I wanted the very act of the theft to be longer. I felt like I was cheated out of an otherwise satisfactory final act.
But, when looking at the movie as a whole, there is a basic and very familiar formula. A very familiar trajectory of development that is pretty boring and predictable but here fortunately is made a bit more interesting with the dynamic direction from Ross. Split screens, scene transitions, energetic editing and killer soundtrack are the director’s best friends here, and it showed in the overall perception of the movie. That despite being a cookie cutter predictable flick, the cast is actually the saving grace in Ocean’s 8. A good cast can make or break a film, and here thankfully makes it.