Ocean’s 8

At the risk of sounding boorish, why was this movie necessary? Can’t you just make an all female heist movie without attaching it to an existing series? Are Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway not big enough names to headline a movie on their own? Maybe you can’t, and that’s a problem, surely. But unlike Ghostbusters, which was a total remake, Ocean’s 8 exists within the Ocean’s universe, making me wonder why I don’t get to see George Clooney on screen. A question they answer alarmingly quick.

Sandra Bullock stars as Ocean’s little sister, Debbie Ocean. Mirroring the first movie, she is released from prison only to immediately set out on a very audacious robbery. She starts recruiting, which takes her about 5 minutes of calling people she already knows, and then convincing a broke Helena Bonham-Carter to risk her entire reputation as a fashion designer. You see, they are robbing the Met Gala and specifically one Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) who will be wearing a necklace of royal diamonds worth millions of dollars. As you can expect, the movie is slick with fun, upbeat music, a con job that goes smoothly until it doesn’t, but then it does, and finally a visual explanation of what really happened in the end. Although, this one has a weird appearance by James Corden as an insurance fraud investigator trying to track them down in the last ten minutes. He had me super worried he’d figure it out let me assure you.

The problem with Ocean’s 8 is that we’ve seen it before. And we’ve seen it done much better before. Despite having fewer characters, they are even less characterized. There’s also a dumb fight between Bullock and Blanchett about the real nature of the heist (revenge) which is an almost exact recreation of the fight between Pitt and Clooney. Of course, Blanchett’s character accepts Bullocks lies rather quickly. And at the end, despite at least 3 of the 8 characters knowing about it, they reveal the second part of the plan the rest of the group didn’t see. UH what? There’s only 8 of you. Why isn’t everyone in on the plan?

It’s all just…fine. Meh. I didn’t hate it. In fact, I rather enjoyed Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham-Carter. Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett also bring the necessary gravitas. But the entire film just seems pointless and moving along on a timetable designed by a screenwriter. There’s little drama, less fun, and zero hope for the future.

2 out of 4 stars.

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