Move over, Danny Ocean, there’s a new crew in town, and headed, by no other than Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett! Fans of the “Ocean’s Trilogy” franchise had a field day when it was announced that these two A-list actresses would be headlining the sequel movie of sorts, with an all female powerhouse cast. While it was not a perfect movie, and slightly better than “Ocean’s 12”, it was a fun and enjoyable watch, with a solid premise for the heist, solid performances, and had several curveballs thrown in that no one saw coming. It was definitely a fun watch, just perfect for summer.
“Ocean’s 8” is a sequel to the Stephen Sodenbergh “Ocean’s Trilogy” franchise and is set after the events of “Ocean’s 13”. This time around, it was directed by Gary Ross.
The movie follows Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), the sister of Danny Ocean (George Clooney), who, after five years in prison, together with her right hand man, Lou (Cate Blanchett), assemble a crew of seven people in order to pull off the jewelry heist of the century- to steal $150 million Cartier necklace off of the neck of actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) at the annual Met Gala. The rest of the movie follows Debbie, Lou and the crew, as they come together and pull off one of the most impossible heists, with an impossibly big score waiting for them at the end, with a couple of twists along the way.
Aside from flipping the genders and what kind of heist they were going to pull off, it did follow the initial beats of the “Ocean’s Trilogy” movies. An Ocean gets released from prison, meets up with their right hand man, the heist is introduced, the crew is assembled, the heist is planned, they prepare for it, and they start executing it with a couple of hiccups down the road. Also, both Danny and Debbie also had similar motivations for why they had to do it. However, what made things a little bit different was the fact that they had to have a designer, a fence, and a jeweler in their crew; and there were a couple of twists that no one saw coming that made the movie more interesting. The heist itself though, was executed well.
There were moments where the energy did feel a little bit lackluster, but for all intents and purposes, this movie is a little bit better than “Ocean’s 12”.
The performances in this movie were nothing but stellar, especially when it came to Bullock, Blanchett and Hathaway. In fact, Hathaway just almost steals the entire movie!
Bullock and Blanchett were perfectly cast as the Danny and Rusty (Brad Pitt) of the group, and they pulled off their respective roles well. Hathaway was a scene stealer as she was just so fun to watch as she went around playing a spoiled diva actress, who just might be a little bit bored with life at times. Sarah Paulson was also great as Tammy, their fence, and her dynamic with Bullock was great as well.
Helean Bonham-Carter pulled off a solid performance that only she could pull off and it was nice to see Mindy Kaling redeem herself after “A Wrinkle in Time”. Akwafina is new to me, but it looks like she’s been making the rounds in fun movies this year, as she will also be appearing in “Crazy Rich Asians” sometime later this year.
Many were worried about Rihanna’s performance as she isn’t really known for being an actress, but she was able to portray her character well enough.
The celebrity cameos peppered throughout the movie and at the Met Gala were done well, and didn’t distract from the main heist itself. However, there were some cameos that did excite me, and I’ll mention that in the spoilers coming up ahead.
If you are a fan of fun heist or caper movies, a fan of Anne Hathaway’s or Sandra Bullock, or a fan of the “Ocean’s Trilogy” franchise, then this movie is definitely for you. It’s not the kind of movie that I’ll be begging for a sequel of, but it is definitely a very fun watch, and is definitely worth watching in the cinema for.
Now, you know the drill! From here on out, there will be spoilers!
It was interesting that they decided to make this sequel with an all female cast and it was also good that they found a logical explanation for it within the boundaries of the heist. This was actually explained by Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), as she was going through some choices for another crew member and most of the choices she was being given at the time were men. She explained that especially in a high profile event, females will be less noticed and won’t stick out as much as compared to men, and what they want is to not be noticed at all. This, in the long run, actually does make sense.
As mentioned earlier, there were moments that the energy felt a little bit lack luster, and sometimes, it did feel like there was more tell than show, although the camera angles, the cinematography and the wardrobe in this movie was amazing. One thing that was great about the George Clooney “Ocean’s 11” was that you would see them do things, and sometimes they would explain it, but they’ll give you a lot of time to think about how it would work first in context of the entire heist. The entire movie felt all too familiar at times, but it was still enjoyable, but it really picked up during the heist itself all the way until the end, where they threw us those little twists we didn’t see coming.
It was interesting that Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) caught on to them and decided to play along anyway and later on wanted in, mostly because she was bored. It was even more interesting that the actual heist wasn’t stealing the necklace, but the actual royal jewels that were on display for the gala, which, until later on in the movie, no one seemed to have noticed to have gone missing. What was even more amazing is the fact that they brought in the Amazing Yen (Shaobo Qin) back to once again help out in a heist in the best way he usually does best.
Elliot Gould’s appearance was also another cameo appearance that was a great nod to the “Ocean’s Trilogy”, but for all intents and purposes, given that Danny is great and conning people, it is doubtful that he is really dead, but it was a great device to use to explain why he didn’t show up in this movie.
Also, this movie did lack a good villain to go up against. It almost felt as if Richard Armitage’s shady art dealer was just a mere accessory. It would have been great if he would have been built up more as more of an actual threat to Debbie so that the audience would have more emotional investment in seeing Debbie and her crew triumph against him as well.
It also felt as if this movie was a one and done thing. I am glad that we were able to get another “Ocean’s” movie, but with the way the “Ocean’s Trilogy” ended, and with the way this ended, I don’t really see the need for them to do more, unless they try something out in which they have both Debbie and Danny working together with their own crews to pull off the biggest heist yet.
Nitpicks aside, the performances, as mentioned earlier, were great, and it was definitely a fun summer heist movie to watch at the cinema.
Have you seen “Ocean’s 8”? What did you think of it? Would you want to see more of it? Do you think Danny Ocean is really dead? Let me know what you think in the comments below!