Ocean’s 8: Film Review

Sandra Bullock, Helena Bonham Carter, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, and Awkwafina in Ocean's Eight (2018)

If you ever watched an Ocean’s movie in your life, is there a chance that you would get away from stealing from a casino or any place filled with crazy riches? Maybe when I was 11-years-old. Now that the guys are out, it’s time to another round of caper heist fun with Ocean’s 8 with the women who could handle a life on the wild side of crime.

What’s the Story?: Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), sister to Danny, has been released from her five-year sentence, and she has been planning the biggest heist: Sealing a $150 million Cartier Toussaint Necklace off of Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) at the New York City’s Met Gala. To pull this off perfectly, she and her partner Lou Miller (Cate Blanchett) recruit a team of criminals and specialist to make sure this plan goes off without any problems.

You can’t have a crew without going through a rundown: Amita (Mindy Kaling), the jewelry maker, Tammy (Sarah Paulson), the suburban mother and profit off stolen goods, Constance (Awkwafina), the street hustler and pickpocket, Nine Ball (Rihanna), the stoner computer hacker, Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), the fashion designer who’s hired to dress Daphne.

Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett in Ocean's Eight (2018)

Steven Soderbergh’s remake of Ocean’s 11 is genuinely one of the best remakes ever made with a talented ensemble (George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt,etc.) and a slick premise that can’t be outmatched. Ocean’s 12 isn’t good at all and Ocean’s 13 was considered an improvement but doesn’t capture that magic from before. The idea for director Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, The Hunger Games) to helm the all-female spin-off didn’t peak my interest at first because though its cast looks good enough, it feels pointless. Ocean’s 8 is fun, though it’s not gonna be the biggest standout of the summer.

The film’s female ensemble worked well together and there wasn’t one that came off as the weakest out the bunch, though Kaling didn’t have much to do since the chemistry was good enough. Pretty much the sole reason I was confident this might be enjoyable. Out of the ensemble that stood out, I was very surprised by Hathaway’s performance. She pulls off the ditzy, yet smart celebrity and all of her scenes made me impressed by her. Bullock and Blanchett were some of my favorites of all-time. Surprisingly enough, Rihanna didn’t do a terrible job. I’ve been critical of her acting in the past and despite her character not saying a whole lot, she was fine.

It takes a while for the plot to set up the actual heist with the planning and getting the crew together, and it was it’s moments of humor sprinkled in here, though the jokes are mild at best.

Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, and Awkwafina in Ocean's Eight (2018)

There are some callbacks to the original trilogy that didn’t feel too forced as the little connections aren’t that noticeable.

For some reason, the heist itself just wasn’t nearly as big from what was to be expected. Not just that, but it just came off as a copy of the original. And though technically this isn’t a remake, it sure felt like it. You can clearly see that Deb and Lou are Danny and Rusty but gender-swapped. I just feel like the script by Ross and co-writer Olivia Milch needed to be tighter and involve more stakes to make it a lot more compelling. There isn’t an Andy Garcia type character that the team is stealing from necessarily.

At the end with Ocean’s 8, this spin-off should’ve been a lot more interesting for a continuation of the franchise. It has a terrific cast with a reasonable plot on its shoulders, but for some reason, it lacked a little bit of creativity for the story itself. This is a more watchable sequel than Ocean’s 12 in all honesty.

Ocean’s 8 captured the style of the previous films in the franchise with its perfect ensemble cast, but it could’ve been more memorable with more stakes involved. Grade: C+

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