Thanks to Roadshow Films, we got to see Gary Ross’ Ocean’s 8. This is our review of the movie, but as usual, no matter what we say, we still recommend you to go and see it at your local cinema because there is no better critic than yourself!
Eleven years after the release of Ocean’s 13, the franchise continues with the latest instalment of the super slick heist films featuring an all-star female cast, with the promise of bringing the hyper-masculine Ocean’s films into a new era. As noble as the intention may be, the result is as shambolic as it is unoriginal, placing in in the same conversation as 2016’s horrendous Ghostbusters reboot.
Ocean’s 8 starts with Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) facing a parole board, assuring them that she’s a changed woman looking for a quiet life on the outside. Once released, she quickly reverts to her old ways, hitting Bergdorf’s and showing the cunning that we have come to expect from the Ocean family, waltzing out with a bevvy of goods before conning her way into a ritzy hotel to begin her new life – which of course means moving straight into planning a heist. The scenes are passably enjoyable, and Bullock as the confident and intelligent Ocean shows the film’s promise, but it’s fleeting and soon not even the all-star cast can stop it from being crushed under the weight of its own unoriginality.
From there, the rest of the film is spent putting together a heist, that’s also a revenge plot with a few twists and turns thrown in that is about the most ‘Ocean’s’ thing about it.
And yes, if the above sounds familiar that’s because the movie, from the very beginning, feels like a ham fisted copy of Ocean’s 11. If the opening sequence was only an opening gambit to draw in fans of the Ocean franchise, it could be tolerated – enjoyed even – but it’s not, and the rest of the movie plays out like some kind of fan-fiction that fails in every sense.
Ocean’s 8 was billed to be this intelligent, empowering film that casts aside the hyper masculinity of the original franchise and shows that women can be suave, intellectual and capable of pulling off a heist as much as the next man. The cast alone makes this one of the biggest films of the year as the likes of Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway Helena Bonham Carter and Rhianna, and a host of other stars, join Bullock in her endeavour.
Without doubt, the star of the show is Anne Hathaway as the self-absorbed, seemingly ditzy but ultimately intelligent actress, Daphne Kluger, (who’s name I can’t help think was some kind of slight to Diane Kruger). On the other hand, Rhianna puts in a woeful performance as she literally struggles to do her own accent in most of the scenes.
And then there’s the celebrity cameo’s. Certainly, nothing new in terms of the Ocean’s franchise – but the use of the likes of the Kardashian’s to curry some favour with young women, is so wildly inappropriate that it’s laughable.
In the end, the poor storyline and lack of character development, the failure to have any shred of the appeal of original franchise, means that this lack lustre film does more damage to female empowerment than if it had just never been made. Maybe if it were a stand-alone film, it would have been more enjoyable and maybe if the director were female, they would have been able to tied it all back together.
Whatever the reasons, Ocean’s 8 does not nothing to further the conversation of the role of women in Hollywood achieving, in fact, quite the opposite.
The only mildly redeeming feature of the movie is that Danny Ocean, by all accounts, is dead and that’s a blessing in disguise, as he’s not around to see how terrible the franchise has become.
Ocean’s 8 – In Cinemas June 7