To be fair, I don't exactly think I'm the target audience for Ocean's 8, an all-female update on the successful Ocean's franchise that was headlined by the likes of George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, but I like to think I'm a cinemagoer that's always up for a good fun time at the movies but that's something that is inexcusably and notably absent from this charmless, lifeless and DOA female-centric heist caper.
Born out of Hollywood's recent spate of female driven updates and redo's that have been born out of the industry trying to make up for past mistakes and inequalities perceived or otherwise, Ocean's 8 should be a silly yet entertaining ride (who doesn't love a cheeky heist flick?) but as directed by The Hunger Games Gary Ross, this mundane exercise in wannabe hipness and sassy smarts is the type of film that exudes self-worth and believes itself to be something that unfortunately it is not.
Ocean's 11 from 2001 coasted by on its assured and energetic direction from Steven Soderbergh, its endless supply of entertaining characters joined with on-point acting turns and thrilling set-up yet while Ocean's 8 has the named brand director, a cast of A-listers and up and comers and a supposedly daring jewellery heist at its disposal, it never gets close to capturing the mix of thrills and laughs that you'd expect from a film that's guised in the Ocean's name.
A major and glaring issue with Ocean's 8 is that every single character in this film is either unlikeable or just not built up enough and when your whole narrative revolves around a heist that is not once even slightly believable, the characters in Ross's film needed to be the key ingredient to make things tick along.
Led by a wooden central turn from Sandra Bullock as Danny Ocean's recently released from prison sister Debbie, the likes of Cate Blanchett as the stoic biker chick Lou, Helena Bonham Carter as the off-kilter Irish designer Rose and Anne Hathaway as the Hollywood starlet Daphne Kluger all cast members fail to make a mark in their roles and while the marketing for this film would make us all believe we have a sisterhood of sorts going on here both on and off-screen, there's no real charm or chemistry shared between this cast and when compared with their all-male lead counterparts from 2001, this cast pales in comparison.
We never get the witty interplay between the rag-tag crew Debbie assembles to pull off a necklace heist at the famed Met Gala and we never get any real sense that these underdeveloped members of the gang really share any type of real friendship, making it extremely hard to care about their successes robbing the rich and wearing nice clothes whilst doing so.
The other detrimental issue to Ocean's 8 outside of the far too convenient heist and its various eyebrow raising conveniences (gang members getting jobs at Vogue magazine, random catering contracts) and its charmless cast interactions is that Ross's film is criminally unfunny.
For a film about a bunch of crooks and con artists it's a shame the most obvious crime here is just how lame Gary Ross's and Olivia Milch's script is and it's been sometime since I've been privy to a film of this ilk that just failed to completely in creating any memorable zingers or sequences that would make it appear to be a better film than it in fact is.
Final Say -
I've been told the fashion in Ocean's 8 is something to keep you interested (at least my wife thinks so)so at least there's that but outside of some pretty dresses and some Hollywood glitz and glamour, Ocean's 8 is a sad attempt to showcase the girls can do crime capers as good as the guys can and it's a shame such a talented cast should be wasted on such a poorly executed attempt at popcorn entertainment.
1 jar of Nutella out of 5
Action / Comedy / Crime / Thriller
Action / Comedy / Crime / Thriller
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Following her release from prison, Debbie Ocean, younger sister of the late Danny Ocean, meets with her former partner-in-crime Lou to convince her to join a heist that she planned while serving her sentence. Debbie and Lou assemble the rest of their team: Rose Weil, a disgraced fashion designer who is deeply in debt with the IRS; Amita, a jewelry maker and friend of Debbie's who is eager to move out of her mother's house and start her own life; Nine Ball, a computer hacker; Constance, a street hustler and pickpocket; and Tammy, a profiteer and another friend of Debbie's who has been secretly selling stolen goods out of her family's suburban home. Debbie plans to steal the Toussaint, a $150 million Cartier necklace, from the Met Gala in three-and-a-half weeks, and use Met Gala co-host Daphne Kluger, a famous actress known for her long neck, as an unwitting mule who will wear the necklace into the gala.
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