Ocean’s Eight (2018) Movie Review
Gary Ross and Olivia Milch
If you don’t watch Ocean’s Eight you are Harvey Weinstein!
Or you just don’t feel like seeing something you’ve seen 3 times previous and thought “Maybe they should have left the franchise alone in the aughties unless they have something new to tell us”.
The baddish news is that the new all-female Ocean’s side/sequel brings nothing new to the table. The gooderish news is that if you’re a fan of the Ocean’s series Ocho is breezy enough that you don’t really care. You could do a lot worse with your two hours, but considering the talent involved and the eleven years since Ocean’s Thirteen, you expect it to be a little less…lazy.
The plot, much like that of Avengers Infinity War, can be diluted to one sentence: Debbie Ocean and Co. steal stuff, but never in a way that you feel anybody is any real danger. In that way it’s also like Infinity War.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, or if you’ve seen Ocean’s Eleven recently, because Eight cribs so much of Eleven in the first act that you might as well call it Ocean’s The Force Awakens.
Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) is finally being released from prison, much like her late (!) brother Danny was in Eleven. She promises that she wants to lead the straight life, but since this is an Ocean’s movie, you know it’s not going to happen.
Thus begins the recruitment sequence of this Ocean’s episode. We’ll meet—
Amita (Mindy Kaling) - She’s a jeweler and her skills as a jeweler are conveniently needed.
Nine Ball (Rihanna) - She’s the Livingston Dell hacker character. She’s found love in a hack-less place.
Tammy (Sarah Paulson) - She’s a soccer mom who doubles as a fence. Both someone who facilitates the movement of stolen goods and something that separates neighbors’ yards.
Rose (Helena Bonham Carter) - She’s a fashion designer by trade as her skills as a designer of fashion are conveniently needed. Her skills as someone who stars in countless movies with Johnny Depp are not as necessary.
Constance (Akwafina) - She’s the Matt Damon character but Asian and female.
Debbie has the 6 other people she needs to pull off the heist of the century, which involves stealing a $150 million-dollar necklace from the neck of bitchy actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway, playing a character people think is a lot like Anne Hathaway) at the super bougie Met Ball.
Now, Ocean’s 7 will steal $150 million without breaking a sweat. But the movie’s called Ocean’s Eight.
Yes, yes it is.
What Works With Ocean’s Eight
- Anne Hathaway gives the best performance of the movie simply because Daphne feels like an original character rather than a generic ovary-having retread of the male characters from the previous Ocean’s movies
- Director Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) more-or-less captures the vibe of Steven Soderbergh’s movies easily enough that you believe that Debbie and her crew inhabit the same universe as Danny and Rusty and Linus did a decade ago.
- Even though you’ve seen all of it before, the actual heist sequence is always fun to watch. Beat by beat you can tell what’s going to happen, not that it matters. The possible double and triple blinds are still diverting, even if you know intuitively when they are coming
- Still better than Ocean’s Twelve, so there’s that.
What Doesn’t Work With Ocean’s Eight
- Oscar Winner Cate Blanchett is completely wasted as Lou. You could have cut her out of the movie and it wouldn’t have mattered a whit (see: Jared Leto in Suicide Squad or really, don’t see Suicide Squad at all, see: Ron Weaselly in all the Harry Potter movies). Lou isn’t so much a character as she is someone for Sandra Bullock’s character to talk to. Sarah Paulson’s Tammy feels more integral to the plot than Lou.
- Too much feels, um, stolen from the best parts of Ocean’s Eleven. One could run both movies concurrently and see where Eight ripped off Eleven.
You will get exactly what you expect from Ocean’s Eight. No more, no less. So, if you love the Ocean’s movies and you love vaginas, then you’re already in line for this.