Movie Review: Ocean's 8
Another installment in the Ocean’s franchise hit theaters over the weekend with the release of the female-led Ocean’s 8. The newest installment was directed by Gary Ross and written by Ross and Olivia Milch with the original Ocean’s Eleven helmsman, Steven Soderbergh, producing. The film follows Debbie Ocean, estranged sister of Danny Ocean, as she recruits a team to pull off a heist at the Met Gala after her release from prison. The film stars Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean with Cate Blanchett playing her partner-in-crime and friend, Lou. The talented cast also includes Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, and Richard Armitage.
The film begins with Debbie Ocean explaining why she should receive an early release, where she spouts off her want a simple life. Upon her release, though, she affirms with the guard that their arrangement still stands and returns quickly to her criminal lifestyle. She soon reunites with her partner-in-crime, Lou, and Debbie explains the plan that she has been concocting for the last five years in prison. The target of their heist is the Toussaint, a $150 million necklace. They quickly recruit five more people in order to successfully pull off the heist, which is set to happen at New York’s annual Met Gala.
Ocean’s 8 is characterized by the same kind of fun that has accompanied every Ocean’s movie so far. It pays homage to the characters who have come before while allowing Danny’s sister and her accomplices to pull off an impossible heist of their own. I appreciated the challenges that are presented throughout their quest to obtain this extraordinarily expensive necklace, and the recruitment process of each person is one of the highlights. The film also makes full use of its many cameos, which works well within the context of the Met Gala.
One of the strongest aspects of the movie, though, is its supremely talented cast. Sandra Bullock shines as the leading lady, and her calm demeanor and careful planning make her a joy to watch on screen. Cate Blanchett does not receive nearly enough screen time, but her portrayal of Lou adds a layer of confidence to the planned heist. Sarah Paulson is hilarious as this mom who balances motherhood with her life of crime. Mindy Kaling is hilarious as usual, and her interactions with Awkwafina in particular are especially comical. Helena Bonham Carter gives a great performance as the awkward fashion designer, and Rihanna is almost unrecognizable as the brilliant hacker Nine Ball. However, the other standout performance comes from Anne Hathaway, who pulls off this over-the-top character of Daphne Kluger. She plays an utterly ridiculous character for most of the movie, and it is absolutely perfect for the film.
Overall, I would say that Ocean’s 8 is the fun kind of summer movie that you hope to see every year. The planning and execution of the heist keeps your attention the entire time, and the chemistry of the actresses on screen keep the movie highly entertaining. The film has some of the types of plot holes that are present in every Ocean’s film, and I found the motivations for one of the characters to be extremely weak, but these things don’t take away from the overall enjoyment factor. Also, the film has a nice plot twist in true fashion with the franchise, and they explain it beautifully at the end. I would count Ocean’s 8 a worthy addition to the Ocean’s franchise and would honestly love to see these ladies come together for another adventure in the future.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.