Over 10 years since the last Ocean’s film was released we are met with Ocean’s 8, an all-female spin-off of Steven Sonderbergh’s Ocean’s films. With a huge cast and an ambitious attempt at forming an all-female version, this film pleasantly provides the heist thrills that anyone could reasonably expect from spin-off of the originals.
Ocean’s 8 follows the story of a group of women who band under the leadership of a prolific thief (Sandra Bullock) to steal a diamond necklace off the neck of a celebrity (Anne Hathaway).
Primarily the film starts off as a rather tedious slow-burn as it introduces a range of both seasoned and beginner level criminals that will be involved in a large scale heist. Though it takes more than half of the film’s runtime to get to the interesting part, the first act could have performed worse; given the rather shaky track record director Gary Ross has displayed. Though ultimately when the character introductions have finally been taken care of and the heist starts the film shows its entertainment strengths.
Though most of the characters were wrought with bland personalities and backstories, including lead actress Sandra Bullock, who’s only real defining feature in this film is her matriarch status as a more seasoned Hollywood actress. The true shining jewel was Anne Hathaway’s portrayal as the superficial and satirically vain celebrity named Daphne Kluger. She offers an over-the-top portrayal of a Hollywood celeb completely absorbed with herself. Her role helps to freshen the movie up from all the heist planning and serious brooding that Bullock shoves in. Helena Bonham Carter sits as a second choice as one of the more interesting characters but falls prey to thin writing like the rest. Paulson, Rihanna, Blanchett, Kaling, and Awkwafina all had their share of watery character development, not a surprise as 8 characters is a lot to deal with. As mentioned this film’s entire story strengths lay mainly in the heist itself, not the characters, they all managed to function in the film and not exceed expectations beyond that.
Visually is where this film truly shines; with the snappy quick-cut editing, shifting sequences, and fast pace this film manages to capture the heist as creatively as any of the other Ocean’s films. This quick cut editing made the heist feel complex and fast paced, while the extravagant production design helped capture the glamour of it all.
Ocean’s 8 serves its purpose in providing a heist film with some interesting elements for the audience to enjoy, while none of the characters truly leave you caring what will happen to them, the third act makes it all worth the wait. It’s a flawed but entertaining film that more or less works. While by no means the most riveting heist film around – Ocean’s 8 offers enough glittering entertainment value to keep you watching, focusing primarily on being an entertaining heist film rather than anything unique.
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