Danny Ocean's estranged sister Debbie attempts to pull off the heist of the century at New York City's star-studded annual Met Gala. Her first stop is to assemble the perfect all-female crew: Lou, Rose, Daphne Kluger, Nine Ball, Tammy, Amita, and Constance.
From the same director
Sandra Bullock (Debbie Ocean), Griffin Dunne (Parole Board Officer), Deidre Goodwin (Prison Guard), Daniella Rabbani (Bergdorf Salesperson), Brian J. Carter (Mr. Randall), Gemma Forbes (Mrs. Randall), Katherine Hozier-Adams (Plaza Hotel Front Desk Clerk), Freddy J. Davila (Plaza Hotel Doorman), Francesca Calo (Plaza Hotel Maid), Cate Blanchett (Lou), Midori Francis (April), Elliott Gould (Reuben), Richard Armitage (Claude Becker), Charlotte Kirk (Cara), Anne Hathaway (Daphne Kluger), Linda Atkinson (Chairwoman), Sas Goldberg (Press Conference Reporter), Steven Hauck (Omaha Banker), David Gibson (Omaha Banker), Craig Waletzko (Omaha Banker), Helena Bonham Carter (Rose Weil), Alexandre De Betak (Fashion Show Designer), Mindy Kaling (Amita), Naheed Khan (Amita's Mother), Rihanna (Nine Ball)...
Diana Alvarez (executive producer), Bruce Berman (executive producer), Jesse Ehrman (executive producer), Susan Ekins (producer (produced by)), Olivia Milch (co-producer), Sandino Moya-Smith (associate producer), John R. Saunders (co-producer), Steven Soderbergh (producer (produced by)), Michael Tadross (executive producer)
To be fair, I don't exactly think I'm the target audience for Ocean's 8, an all-female update on the successful Ocean's franchise that was headlined by the likes of George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, but I like to think I'm a cinemagoer that's always up for a good fun time at the movies but that's something that is inexcusably and notably absent from this charmless, lifeless and DOA female-centric heist caper.
Born out of Hollywood's recent spate of female driven updates and redo's that have been born out of the industry trying to make up for past mistakes and inequalities perceived or otherwise, Ocean's 8 should be a silly yet entertaining ride (who doesn't love a cheeky heist flick?) but as directed by The Hunger Games Gary Ross, this mundane exercise in wannabe hipness and sassy smarts is the type of film that exudes self-worth and believes itself to be something that unfortunately it is not.
Ocean's 11 from 2001 coasted by on its assured and energetic direction from Steven Soderbergh, its endless supply of entertaining characters joined with on-point acting turns and thrilling set-up yet while Ocean's 8 has the named brand director, a cast of A-listers and up and comers and a supposedly daring jewellery heist at its disposal, it never gets close to capturing the mix of thrills and laughs that you'd expect from a film that's guised in the Ocean's name.
A major and glaring issue with Ocean's 8 is that every single character in this film is either unlikeable or just not built up enough and when your whole narrative revolves around a heist that is not once even slightly believable, the characters in Ross's film needed to be the key ingredient to make things tick along.
Led by a wooden central turn from Sandra Bullock as Danny Ocean's recently released from prison sister Debbie, the likes of Cate Blanchett as the stoic biker chick Lou, Helena Bonham Carter as the off-kilter Irish designer Rose and Anne Hathaway as the Hollywood starlet Daphne Kluger all cast members fail to make a mark in their roles and while the marketing for this film would make us all believe we have a sisterhood of sorts going on here both on and off-screen, there's no real charm or chemistry shared between this cast and when compared with their all-male lead counterparts from 2001, this cast pales in comparison.
We never get the witty interplay between the rag-tag crew Debbie assembles to pull off a necklace heist at the famed Met Gala and we never get any real sense that these underdeveloped members of the gang really share any type of real friendship, making it extremely hard to care about their successes robbing the rich and wearing nice clothes whilst doing so.
The other detrimental issue to Ocean's 8 outside of the far too convenient heist and its various eyebrow raising conveniences (gang members getting jobs at Vogue magazine, random catering contracts) and its charmless cast interactions is that Ross's film is criminally unfunny.
For a film about a bunch of crooks and con artists it's a shame the most obvious crime here is just how lame Gary Ross's and Olivia Milch's script is and it's been sometime since I've been privy to a film of this ilk that just failed to completely in creating any memorable zingers or sequences that would make it appear to be a better film than it in fact is.
Final Say -
I've been told the fashion in Ocean's 8 is something to keep you interested (at least my wife thinks so)so at least there's that but outside of some pretty dresses and some Hollywood glitz and glamour, Ocean's 8 is a sad attempt to showcase the girls can do crime capers as good as the guys can and it's a shame such a talented cast should be wasted on such a poorly executed attempt at popcorn entertainment.
1 jar of Nutella out of 5
Ocean's 8: Las estafadoras (Argentina; Peru; Uruguay (original subtitled version)) • Okeanovih 8 (Bosnia and Herzegovina (Serbian title)) • Бандитките на Оушън (Bulgaria (Bulgarian title)) • Oito Mulheres e um Segredo (Brazil) • Debbie Ocean 8 (Canada (French title)) • Debbie a její parťačky (Czech Republic) • Ocean's Eight (Germany; USA (English title)) • Oceani 8 (Estonia) • Ocean's 8 (Spain; Finland; France; Italy; Norway; Poland; Portugal; USA (poster title)) • Η συμμορία των 8 (Greece)
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