Ocean’s 8 Movie Review
Back in 2001, there was a spiffy little heist movie called “Ocean’s 11”. It proved popular and was well-done, so that called for sequels called “Ocean’s 12” and “Ocean’s 13”. But the original people behind it moved on to other things. The high-concept idea of a major heist in a large public place pulled off with much style and flair then fell to — an all women crew. Hey, that worked for “Ghostbusters”, right? Well perhaps this one — “Ocean’s 8” — will be done much better…
Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), who is sister to the recently deceased Danny Ocean (from the three other Ocean movies), is getting out of jail. She is a master con artist and a flim-flam gal. But she wins over the parole board with the promise to stay out of that life. When she is released, she is back into ful swing with her prior partner Lou (Cate Blanchett). Debbie has gone over all the details of a ‘perfect heist’ while in prison, and it gets Lou very interested. She sets up a work space and gets a crew together. This will involve fashion design, so first they get Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter).
They also need jewelry expert Amita (Mindy Kaling) and someone who can move stolen goods named Tammy (Sarah Paulson). On top of that they need a high-tech hacker named Nine Ball (Rihanna) and good thief named Constance (Awkwafina). They plan on getting a major celebrity named Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) to wear a super pricey necklace to the Annual Met Gala, held at the Met Museum in May. According to Debbie’s master plan, they take the real necklace, then substitute a fake necklace and authorities will not know where to look.
Of course, the heist runs into bumps in the road and other hiccups that cause anguish. But that night, after perfect planning and exquisite execution, the plan works. Sort of. There are other ramifications, but Debbie Ocean has also made some plans for that. Her ex-boyfriend, Claude Becker (Richard Armitage), had been the reason she was sent to jail in the first place. So, he will have a little surprise coming. And an insurance investigator named John Frazier (James Corden) needs to get at least a portion of the pricey jewels back, so he and Debbie work out a deal. And, by the way, the huge necklace was the not the ONLY major haul that Debbie was planning for that night…
This movie is breezy and fashion-friendly, so expect the ladies who crave beauty and high-class outfits to eat it up. The acting is right on par with what is needed. Sandra Bullock provides the steady hand with the belief in her plan, and Cate Blanchett makes the right pieces fall into the right places. Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina and Sarah Paulson are nice partners in the heist plan. Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway duke it out for the ‘Slightly Ditzy Award’. Rihanna gives herself some acting cred in this role, and perhaps she will make into other movies, too. If John Legend and Common and do it, then so can she!
Gary Ross takes the existing trio of other “Ocean’s” movies and does a fairly good gender swap on the way those movies work. They took the suave charm of leading men (such as George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon) and gave it a fanciful story line with high-stakes outcomes in over-the-top locations. The main leads in “Ocean’s 8” (Bullock, Blanchett, Hathaway and the rest) have acting ability and also a lot of style. So the formula looks like it works when it gets done correctly.
“Ocean’s 8” has made a spot for itself in the series of earlier “Ocean’s” movies. It takes a little different view of the landscape, but the ride to the finish line is just as fun. Perhaps there can be an “Ocean’s 9” or even “Ocean’s 10”. I guess they would have to stop before they hit the next number…
Ocean's 8 Review
Ocean's 8 Summary
Directed by: Gary Ross
Screenplay by: Gary Ross, Olivia Milch
Story by: Gary Ross
Based on Characters: by George Clayton Johnson & Jack Golden Russell
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Richard Armitage, James Corden
Length: 110 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language, drug use, and some suggestive content
Genre: Comedy, Action