Ocean's 8 is a heist comedy film directed by Gary Ross and written by Ross and Olivia Milch. The film is a spin-off from Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's trilogy (review here)and stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, and Helena Bonham Carter.
The Story/The Direction:
The plot follows a group of women, led by Debbie Ocean (Bullock), younger sister of Danny Ocean (George Clooney), who plans on robbing the Met Gala. The plot is very simple and Ross does a very good job putting together a heist film. He is clearly inspired by Soderberg and there are a lot of similarities to their cinematography, both of which look great. There are twists and turns and sets the stage very well for these powerful women to take the screen.
This is perhaps the biggest strength of the film as the women are great. The highlight is obviously Bullock who commands the screen and the team. She is just out on parole and plans to lift a $150 million necklace from the neck of celebrity Daphne Kluger (Hathaway). Blanchett is a lot of fun and even Rihanna does well in the small role as Nine Ball. With a cast such as this, it is hard not to root for them to succeed. This film shows a group of women getting what they want due to their intelligence, wits, and proficiency and not sex appeal. As with the previous films, the characters aren't looked into a lot but that's not a big deal as the screenwriters and actors provide an entertaining time.
The main issue with this film is that it does not have as much tension as some of the previous films did. Those films had something strong pushing the plot whereas this one was fine but it was not as engaging. It could have benefited from more jeopardy. Even when the criminal investigation occurs, the audience knows what is going to happen, mostly. It also seems to take A LOT of inspiration from the previous film so much so that the opening scene is the exact same to Ocean's Eleven. This similarity is fine if the rest of the film plays out to be different but it does not and makes it seem lazy.
This film has a lot of good things going for it. The cast is great and showing strong and intelligent women such as them and the many cameos are just as fantastic. However, the film is not unique and there is a minimal amount of peril to the heist. It is worth seeing in the theatres as a matinee or video on demand. Viewers will not be hating the under two-hour runtime plus a fairly entertaining heist. If one is a fan of the previous films, there is plenty to enjoy in this good and enjoyable film.
Rating: 3.5/5.0 bowties
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