Cinephile No. 726 “Ocean’s Eight”
“A Different Take”
A Review of “Ocean’s Eight”
Recommendation: 3 Stars, STREAM
Director: Gary Ross, Writer: Gary Ross, Olivia Milch, Starring: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway
Plot: Debbie Ocean gathers an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City's yearly Met Gala.
Review: “Ocean’s Eight” comes with the same level of cool you’ve come to expect from the long-running franchise. It features a daring heist (this time stealing a priceless diamond necklace off of the neck of Daphne Kluger played by Anne Hathaway while she attends the famed Met Gala). The assembling of the team is the same except this time we are watching eight powerful women lead the charge. Everything seems to fall apart in the same way when we discover there is a kink in the plan. Finally, it features the same joy and exhilaration of watching the plan unfold.
What this film lacks is punch. Sandra Bullock is often subdued. There isn’t a lot of comedy written into this script. The heist doesn’t feel as nuanced. The twist doesn’t feel all that surprising. The team seems contrived and brought together only to fill holes in the machine and not for reasons of real ambition. The kink in the plan is easily overcome; all it takes is a phone call. While the plan leaves you guessing, it pales in comparison to taking down a couple of casinos in Las Vegas.
All of this is a shame because the story that is being created here between the Ocean siblings is worth exploring. It is also disappointing because this deserved to be good much in the same way the all-female reboot of Ghostbusters deserved to be good (a film I actually liked). “Wonder Woman” proved that women deserve their chance at summer blockbuster glory. They deserve evenly told and original stories. They deserve to show they can play and often excel past their male counterparts. They deserve content built for them not reconstructed from something that has already succeeded. This film failed to meet those lofty expectations. Instead, it entertained. It will entertain you for a night on the couch, but it deserved more than that.
Be good to each other,
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