an OCEAN'S 8 musing
Female rebootquels have had a rough go of it in the past few years, but OCEAN’S 8 successfully carries on what the OCEAN’S movies began while establishing an extremely strong cast tasked with bringing the franchise to new directions. OCEAN’S 11 and 13 revolved around heists in Las Vegas, while 12 admirably tried to expand the group’s operations to Italy. The latest installment brings the elaborate plan to New York City, with the women attempting to steal a necklace during the Met Gala.
Just as most slick heist movies don’t expose the entire plan before it’s carried out (unlike a recent character-driven heist movie AMERICAN ANIMALS), it’s always fun to see this one unravel. We know these heists will be successful to some degree, but the fun is in how it’s executed and the clever plotting.
It also helps that the cast is wonderfully stacked with huge stars and character actors. Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), the mastermind of the plan and Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney in the original movies, is great and literally softspoken (unless it was just the sound in my theater…). Her second-in-command, played by Cate Blanchett, is a fun, loose and freewheeling character that’s so refreshing to see; she’s analogous to Brad Pitt’s Rusty in the originals. Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Awkwafina and Mindy Kaling are having a lot of fun in their respective roles, though they may have been a little underutilized, especially in the latter’s case. Although it is nice to see Kaling play somewhat against type i.e. not a silly, unaware kind of character.
Anne Hathaway was pitch perfect casting as the woman they other seven would be stealing the necklace off of, the unwitting eighth of the group. While I’ve never had a problem with her, I know about others’ annoyance of her. In the movie, Hathaway channels her public persona and turns it into a truly annoying, abrasive caricature of a superstar model.
OCEAN’S 8 also has some fun nods to the original movies, with some cameos from the original eleven. The movie never really acknowledges nor comments on “hey, look at us with an all-women cast!”, rather Debbie just looked for the best people for this job and they happened to be women. It’s not treated as such a novel idea, and it helps that this was a continuation and not a retread of the all-men versions. While not game-changing and drags at the top (but with reason, as the team gets put together), it’s still a fun, smart time at the movies.
RATING: PURCHASING FOR MY COLLECTION
(Refer to my rating system HERE!)