+ Recommended – PG-13, Comedy, Crime
Recently we’ve started to see a trend of movies from Hollywood, where they take a beloved (male-driven) classic and redo it, but this time it has women(!) running the lead roles. The unfortunate reality for these movies, however, includes a kind of scrutiny that other movies, especially the original ones that they’re based off, never receive. Now, that doesn’t mean that they’re mind-blowingly amazing movies, they’re maybe just not as bad as your nostalgia fueled rose glasses lead you to believe. So how does Ocean’s 8 fair?
It’s…fine. This movie has its highs and lows. It’s certainly not going to change your life, but it is entertaining. We have a star-studded cast lead by Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean, Danny Ocean’s younger sister. Debbie, having just been released on parole after a 5 year stint in prison, has come up with the perfect con and is assembling a team to rob the most exclusive party in the world: The Met Gala. In the following hour and 50 minutes, we spend an uneven and sometimes awkward amount of time with our other leading ladies. Cate Blanchett plays Lou, Debbie’s best friend and her partner, and strangely enough, I feel like we see her the least. We spend the most time with famous actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) and her struggling fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter) as the team prepares to steal the “Jeanne Toussaint”, a diamond necklace valued at 150 million dollars.
The place Ocean’s seemed to stumble the most was with it’s pacing. We spend an inordinate amount of time setting up for the Met and at times it gets absolutely tedious. Each of the team members has the required special skill but the issue comes when they don’t have the character to fill the amount of time they’re on screen. In the case of Rihanna’s Nine Ball, the mystery makes sense. We’re not supposed to get a backstory for the elusive hacker. However, when it comes to characters like Amita (Mindy Kaling), she is almost as underused as she was in Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time. For a movie that is almost two hours long, they had the time to put into building these characters and the relationships connecting them all and they just didn’t.
That’s not to say that this movie was a total trainwreck. The acting from our main 8 is fantastic. The one liners and gems that we get from Awkwafina in this film make the price of admission worth it. By far, my favorite cameo has to go to James Corden’s insurance fraud agent. The interactions between him and Sandra Bullock are absolutely hilarious and we get little hints of his relationship with the rest of the Ocean family as well. The big reveals towards the end of the movie are fairly predictable, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining to see this robbery come together. The chemistry between all of these actresses is undeniable, I just wish the writing would have supported that. I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but how did Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett not have more screen time?
This movie is shot well and the soundtrack is wonderful. It’s definitely a fun movie and even though Jared says he will only watch it the once, I think this is the perfect girl’s/family night out film. I wouldn’t be surprised if we got another Ocean’s movie. I get the feeling that Danny isn’t going to stay dead in the next one.