Review – Oceans 8

With a cast full of high profile badass women, Warner Brothers hardly needs any help building anticipation for Ocean’s 8. The excitement level was already through the roof when the trailer dropped but as any good marketing team does, they boldly raised the stakes by claiming ‘having this much fun is a crime’. We were all lead to believe that this would be the glitziest, most thrilling heist ever to grace our screens. So now that it’s here, does Ocean’s 8 stack up?

Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), master thief and sister of infamous criminal Danny Ocean, makes a plan to steal a $150 Million necklace at the Met Gala after a 5-year stint in jail. Of course, she can’t do it alone. She enlists the help of old pal Lou (Cate Blanchett), designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), jeweller Amita (Mindy Kaling), hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna), pick pocket Constance (Awkwafina) and naïve actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hatheway) to bring in the jewels.

Any film with a giant cast full of excellent actors is bound to struggle at least a little bit displaying them in the way we want. The line between in-depth characters and actual plot is thin and difficult to do well. But when you’ve got this many fabulous ladies in one film, the balance becomes even harder. For the most part, Gary Ross (Director/Writer) and Olivia Milch (Writer) pull it off decently well. Each character (and countless real life Met Gala faves) is given their time to shine, even if they are a touch surface level. Largely the lack of depth is due to the film spending a good portion setting up intricate plot details to make the twists and turns even sweeter. No need to worry though, there is definitely enough to satisfy you for the moment and leave you wanting more. We will no doubt see each character again in countless squeals to come.

What was particularly great about the film was that its male predecessor didn’t become a 9th lead. There were hints and references to the other Ocean’s movies (even a few familiar faces). But overall, Debbie Ocean carried the film independent of Frank and George. Fans of the old films will be satisfied and new ones certainly won’t feel left out.

The films major let down is that it falls to the trap of anticipation syndrome. Warner Brothers have been smart in their advertising, giving us a little bit but not too much. They are a tease and we’re hopeless fans eager to see some badass ladies. It’s also undeniable that these ladies have chemistry. If you’ve tuned into any talk show over the past 2 weeks you might have seen any combination of the cast bantering away. They’re charming and endearing and they certainly know how to sell a movie. So with our expectations high, it is easy to come out of Ocean’s 8 a little disappointed.

In many ways I was expecting much more. More drama, more glitz, more glam, more action, more suspense. Certainly, no one will be locked away for having too much fun after viewing it. But that’s not any fault of the film. Ocean’s 8 is overall an enjoyable movie. It has a cohesive plotline, a touch of humour, a sneak peak into the glamour of the fashion world and twists and turns that genuinely make sense. If you lower your expectations just a little bit, you’ll be sure to have a good time.

Ocean’s 8 hits cinemas Thursday June 7, 2018.

Review by Jaclyn McTaggart



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