All-star cast? Check. Stylish setting? Check. Subtle humor? Check. Fantastic heist plot? Hmm, not so much.
Ocean’s 8 is the latest installment in the Ocean’s franchise but swaps the eccentric male criminals for their equally masterminded female cohorts. While the acting, pacing, and lavish style and setting make this a fun caper film, the predictable plot and low stakes bring what could have been a superior heist film into the realm of blandness.
Ocean’s 8 stars Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean, the incarcerated sister of Danny Ocean, who is released from prison and discovers her brother has passed away. With five years of plotting while behind bars, Debbie connects with her partner in crime, Lou (Cate Blanchett), and convinces her to join in on the biggest heist of all time. Their target is a necklace worth $150 million, and their setting is the Met Gala. They assemble a rag-tag team of women to pull off the heist, including a hacker (Rihanna), a jeweler (Mindy Kaling), and a relic fashion designer (Helena Bonham Carter). Together the women target a ditsy actress, played by Anne Hathaway, as their client, who ultimately wears the necklace that they plan to steal.
This is a typical heist film, with no real consequences for the actions that take place within, and no tension from potentially getting caught. When it comes to the scheme itself, it runs a bit too smooth, making it feel as though the emphasis of the film is style over substance. Then they throw in an ex-boyfriend, which detracts from the overall message of strong and intelligent female characters. The boyfriend plot is predictable and could have made room for more character development of the eight players who all seem to be one-note characters with no real motivation.
The shining spotlight on this film is Anne Hathaway’s performance as the clueless and busty actress, Daphne Kluger. She hams it up and makes for some of the funniest scenes in the film. Sandra Bullock as the determined crook and Cate Blanchett as the wild partner play well off one another, but there were several missed opportunities for character growth. If you’re looking for a fun, shenanigan film to keep cool in the theater this summer, Ocean’s 8 is your film. However, if you’re looking for something more than the average hi-jinks, then maybe wait to see this one in the comfort of your living room.
About Ocean’s 8
Synopsis: The recent prison released Debbie Ocean, teams up with her former partner to pull off a heist that rivals her late brother, Danny Ocean, and his schemes. They assemble a crew to infiltrate the Met Gala to steal a necklace worth $150 million. But with an insurance investigator hot on their heels, and a former lover who betrayed Debbie in the mix, will they pull it off?
Director: Gary Ross
Writers: Gary Ross, Olivia Milch
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina
Runtime: 1 Hour, 50 Minutes