Ocean’s Eight Review
"Despite a brand new cast and several years later, the newest Ocean's movie still manages to tell almost the exact same story."
a sequel (of sorts) to the Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s 11
franchise, starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and Rihanna and directed by Hunger Games’ Gary Ross.
Sandra Bullock is Debbie Ocean, younger sister of the franchise’s original protagonist, Danny Ocean (George Clooney). Debbie has just been released from prison, and is immediately ready to start her next job. She finds her old partner Lou (Cate Blanchett) so they can begin recruiting a new team. The new members include a hacker (Rihanna), a jeweler (Mindy Kaling), a mother (Sarah Paulson), a pickpocket (Awkwafina), and a bankrupt fashion designer (Helena Bonham Carter). Together they not only plan to steal a $150 million dollar necklace from the prestigious Met Gala, one of the most famous art events in the world, but they plan to steal right off the neck of the neurotic actress (Anne Hathaway).
There are more than a few similarities between Ocean’s 8
and Ocean’s 11
besides the main characters’ last names. The movie opens with Debbie just being released from prison, just like Danny Ocean in the Ocean’s 11
. She gets to work right away on setting up her next score, just like Danny. She has unfinished business from an ex-lover (Richard Armitage), famously like Danny and Tess (Julia Roberts). The heist has almost the exact beats from the very first heist; but instead of men stealing money, women are stealing jewels. Even some of the shot compositions are similar, such as some split screens featuring the different cast members and some slick quick cuts.
Unlike Ocean’s 11
, the characters in Ocean’s 8
are a little bland. Debbie Ocean is obviously a great thief, just like her brother before her. She has a great walk and she flawlessly orchestrates and delegates. Other than that, she’s all style and no real substance. Cate Blanchett has a fabulous wardrobe and may or may not be in a relationship with Sandra Bullock. She also proves to be capable, but I also don’t really care about her. This observation can applied to the rest of the cast. Rihanna’s hacker character shows up and solves various problems with very little explanation, but it doesn’t do very much to move the plot forward. All of the women are literally just there performing their assigned tasks. Although they're doing their jobs very well, they’re not funny, memorable, or interesting. They just seem as if they are whimsically floating, like a light breeze, through a 2 hour heist movie.
Ocean’s 8 is a competent and watchable film. Unfortunately it does absolutely nothing to enhance or revive the Ocean’s franchise. The first Oceans’ 11
had standout cinematography, interesting characters, more humor, and better music. Despite its stellar cast and clearly talented people behind the lens, to only call it watchable is disappointing to say the least.