Ocean’s 8 (2018)

Ocean’s 8 (2018)

  • Score: 3/5
  • Genre: 3/5
  • Did I enjoy it: Mostly.
  • Did it move me: Not really.
  • Rewatch:  Unlikely, but it wouldn’t hurt me.
  • Art/Pop: Pop.
  • Noteworthy/Significant: Not much.

Ocean’s 8’s attempted fresh take on the heist genre, having a group of women instead a group of men (or primarily men), mostly succeeds. Sandra Bullock, while lacking the inspiring fire of her best performances, such as in Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, is nevertheless her eminently watchable and dependable self, playing the recently-released-from-prison sister of George Clooney’s Danny Ocean from the earlier films. 

While the entire cast does well, Cate Blanchet really shines as Bullock’s primary old friend/co-conspirator who helps build the team around them to accomplish the heist goal of stealing a famous and ultra valuable Cartier necklace during a huge media-swamped annual Gala in  NYC. Perhaps its unfair, but I simply expect a great performance from Helena Bonham Carter, truly a traditional, old fashioned, hard-core, do-anything actress; on the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised by pop singer Rihanna, whose turn as a street hacker I didn’t realize was as convincing as it was (some technical hacker issues aside, which has nothing to do with her performance but the script) until she appears suddenly in fancy dress at one point toward the end of the film and I was surprised by the transformation. Of course, it raises the question of how a young street hacker could so effectively pull off the swagger of a diva, but we’ll let that pass.

This is an easy to watch film, and one that I would generally recommend to anyone who likes the genre (and it is family friendly to boot). That said, despite its budget and talent,  it’s only average at best for a heist movie. I never felt any sense of tension in the build up and execution, despite the perfunctory handful of unexpected challenges or twists. While it is a rare heist film that does not end in the heist succeeding, the art of filmmaking is creating tension despite that fact, which Ocean’s 8 fails at. It also needed more character exploration, something that it seems could have been done without impact on the film’s pacing, and maybe even added some more tension.

Review Date: 05/16/2019

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