Out this week in cinemas is Ocean’s 8. Starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, and Awkwafina Ocean’s 8 follows Debbie Ocean (Bullock) the sister to the infamous Danny Ocean (George Clooney).
Debbie has just been released from a stint in prison and once she leaves she immediately sets to work on a heist she has been cooking up the entire time she was in prison. The heist centres around Debbie stealing jewels from the upcoming Met Gala.
She meets up with her old partner Lou (Blanchett) and decides that she needs to assemble a crew to pull off this huge heist. This crew is a combination of a heavily in debt fashionista, a hacker, a jewelry maker, a pickpocket, and a profiteer. Together they form the titular Ocean’s 7? Wait that’s supposed to be Ocean’s 8 and that’s where Anne Hathaway’s character Daphne Kluger an over the top celebrity comes in. She is being used as an unassuming “inside man” through sophisticated and subtle manipulation from the ladies in Ocean’s crew.
The main issue with Ocean’s 8 is the retreading of so many similar beats. The opening half hour introduces the crew and from the moment Debbie is introduced the script almost feels like it was lifted from Ocean’s 11. Debbie discusses how she is over that stint in her life and Bullock gives almost the exact same performance that Clooney gave back in Ocean’s 11. Lou is introduced much like Brad Pitt’s character was with a sense of all-knowing power and understanding. She gets Debbie and through one flashback we are supposedly given further understanding of their friendship. Instead, this points out the second glaring issue of Ocean’s 8, the writing. Nothing pops, there’s no sizzle to the dialogue. I would venture forth and say there’s barely any chemistry between most of the cast.
What doesn’t help is the lack of backgrounds on the characters. They’re all paragraphs in a poorly written novella and that’s as far as we get with them. Through the course of the film, we learn nothing more about them save for Debbie and Lou (and that’s because Lou factors into a single flashback pushing Debbie’s journey). Sarah Paulsen’s Tammy was somewhat interesting when she was introduced because you can see she clearly is someone with a problem and I was intrigued. Sadly that’s as far as her development goes. Not only that there’s no true villainous force that you want the heroes to overcome.
There is one shining light though and it was surprisingly Anne Hathaway’s glitzy and ditzy Daphne. She’s funny, she has the best lines in the film and has the most character depth next to Debbie.
On the technical side of Ocean’s 8, there are also grievances when it comes to director Gary Ross’ direction. A particular scene with the crew had them appear one after the other while signing in, unfortunately, Mindy Kaling’s character Amita disappears in the shot completely ruining the flow of the scene. It is amateurish and further lowers the quality of Ocean’s 8.
Now the main goal of this film is to give audiences a compelling heist because at the end of the day an Ocean’s film is all about the heist. I can say without a doubt that the heist is easily the best part of Ocean’s 8, it’s just everything around it that drags the film down. At the end of the day if you want to see all these incredible actors together then this is the film for you because you get to see them all together. If you’re looking for a great film with all these actors together than you still have to wait a while.