Story by: Gary Ross
Screenplay by: Olivia Milch, Gary Ross
Produced by: Steven Soderbergh and Susan Ekins
Executive Producers: Michael Tadross, Diana Alvarez, Jesse Ehrman and Bruce Berman
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carte with James Corden and Richard Armitage.
Girls chewing gum and six pounds of diamonds doesn’t always create sparkle.
Described as on offshoot to the Ocean’s series: 11, 12, 13 (directed by Steven Soderbergh), director and screenplay co-writer Gary Ross has created Ocean’s 8: the female version with connection through Danny Ocean’s (George Clooney) sister, Debbie (Sandra Bullock), who’s coming to the end of her jail sentence.
Time well-spent as she’s planned a homecoming of stolen bling and revenge.
I missed the whole Ocean’s franchise, so in preparation, I watched the three with low expectation. Thinking the films an excuse for all-star self-congratulation.
The first, Ocean’s 11 (2001) was good, funny. And aside for the flip phones the film has dated well; the humour a surprise. The second, Ocean’s 12 (2004) was clever and the third, Ocean’s 13 (2007) was smart and yeah, funny. I even woke up in a good mood expecting more of the same with Ocean’s 8.
But with all the previous expectation, I was left feeling flat, the humour contrived, the characters, bland. Which is surprising with such an outstanding cast.
Sandra Bullock as Debbie the sister was cool, but a little too cool, wilting beside the sparkle of Cate Blanchett as ex-partner in crime, now night club owner, Lou.
And there were holes like a lack of motivation for the other six characters to get involved in the heist – I felt lonely so I did it?!
And who’s the Fence again? Tammy (Sarah Paulson)? Who does Tammy fence to?
How does Nine Ball (Rihanna) hack into The Met’s system?
Amita (Mindy Kaling): Because you don’t have your mother watching?
The Irish clothing designer, Rose (Helena Bonham Carter) in debt to the IRA? Well, OK, that makes sense.
And don’t forget skateboarder, Constance (Awkwafina)…
Instead of clever, we get Nine Ball painting her toe-nails mid-heist.
Anne Hathaway as Daphne Kluger AKA the damsel, smarter-than-she-looks, celebrity showed some personality; but really, the clever was shallow because there wasn’t enough to make the heist difficult.
Which is crazy to say because the whole movie’s about stealing $150 million in diamonds in the form of the Toussaint necklace created by Cartier. A masterpiece kept in a vault underground.
To steal the piece, the necklace needs to be taken from the vault, the opportunity created by convincing Cartier to loan the Toussaint to Kluger to wear to the extravagant Costume Institute Benefit at The Met.
Debbie has spent five years, eight months and 12 days planning this heist, but like Lou watering down the vodka in her night club, the story felt weak.
I’m not saying Ocean’s 8 is a bad movie; there were some fun moments and times of clarity like Lou asking Debbie, ‘He told you the truth?
‘The only way to con a con.’
But a film that relies heavily on dialogue needs a little more depth.
Why do people do anything? Revenge, yes, and money – but what I felt was boredom; like the motivation of most of the characters. Maybe I should go steal something.
© GoMovieReviews 2015
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