OCEAN'S 8 is a new movie in the Oceans franchise. It is hard to believe George Clooney's Ocean's Eleven came out 17 years ago. It was a fun heist movie with some pretty entertaining sequels. Enough time has passed, and as we are rebooting and remaking anything and everything, why not Ocean's Eleven?
This is not a sequel, but a reboot, no doubt setting up another trilogy. Debbie Ocean, sister of Danny Ocean, has just been released from a five year stretch in prison. Wasting no time she starts grifting and is soon back on her feet. She hooks up with her former partner Lou and lays down her plan to not only steal millions by robbing the Met gala, but to also get revenge on the man who put her behind bars - as McGuffins go this is a good one. We have seen casino vaults done a million times - So Debbie gets around to assembling her team and putting her plan in place.
The team is led by Sandra Bullock - one of my blind spots, everyone loves her but she often leaves me cold. Here however she is great, an able replacement for George Clooney, and extremely charismatic. You get the feeling the rest of the team look up to her in real life as well as their characters in the movie. Weirdly Helena Bonham Carter has the worst Irish accent I’ve heard in a film since Tom Cruise in Far and Away. Rihanna plays a computer hacker and as someone who is a fan of her work. I have to say she might be the worst actor I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen better performances in school nativity plays. That said, she’s barely in it and when she is, she looks incredible.
'It has a really fun cast, a glamorous setting, and a pretty basic plot'
This movie has been promoted for the last six months, but really that promotional tour has done it no favours. If you stumbled across this film on TV in a few years time you would think “This is actually quite fun”, but I did come out of the screening thinking, "Meh". It’s not the star's fault, to a woman they are in great form. The plot is quite thin and you go along with character motives because it’s more fun that way, but any scrutiny and the whole thing falls apart.
It feels like the main problem here is the generic direction from Gary Ross, who is doing a kind of Sodenbrugh-lite, and a pretty shakey screen play (dialogue aside ). This is the perfect aeroplane movie. It has a really fun cast, a glamorous setting, and a pretty basic plot. You get the premise in about 15 mins and you can dip in and out for the rest of the film and will not miss anything if your meal comes or you have to head to bathroom - so that’s a positive.