I’m a big fan of Steven Soderbergh. So when I first saw Ocean’s Eleven, I loved it. It was a damn good heist film that was smart, suave, and comedic. Didn’t care as much for either sequel unfortunately. I thought the trailer for Ocean’s 8 looked good enough. It also billed a fairly good cast; I was very into a pairing involving Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett. The prognosis is this: Ocean’s 8 is fun in parts and has wonderful costume design and an elegant feel but there is a lack of stakes and I don’t think each character is fleshed out enough to make this a great film.
The film follows Debbie Ocean (the younger sister of Danny Ocean, George Clooney’s character in the original trilogy). Debbie has recently been released from prison and devises a plan to steal a $150 million dollar diamond necklace during the yearly met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She enlists the help of six other women and promises that each will get a large cut of the steal. Along with Bullock and Blanchett the film stars Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, and Helena Bonham Carter.
Let me run through the positives first. The film looks great. The theme at the Met Gala allows for the cast and cameos to shine and look elegant and fit for the role of being in such a lavish event. The films actual heist is also interesting no matter how non practical it would be. There are passages in the film which are good, but they don’t always come often and are not memorable enough.
The characters aren’t all developed well. I think Rihanna was fine enough because she is a not so verbose hacker. I do think that Mindy Kaling and Awkwafina were very underutilized and faded away many times in this film. I also feel like Cate Blanchett is tremendous and needed a bigger role in the film. Its not all bad though, really though Anne Hathaway was fine in her role. I also felt like there was a lack of stakes during the steal. Its almost too easy with no real bump in the road.
Overall, I’m mixed about Ocean’s 8. There are things about this film that I like but I think it fails to be memorable. At times it feels like a real copy of Soderbergh’s Oceans Eleven. The film lacks strong characterization, is oddly devoid of good humor, and could have been written better. It lacks what was so good about the first film in the Ocean’s trilogy. Its a fair watch but a one time deal.