Ocean’s 8: Film Review

Following the critical mauling the all-female Ghostbusters reboot got (although I personally enjoyed it), I really wanted to like Ocean’s 8, not just because of what it represented for female-led blockbusters, but because I love the ensemble cast and the idea of a female heist comedy. Sadly, it didn’t quite come through.

Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), the sister of George Clooney‘s Danny Ocean from the earlier trilogy, has just been released from prison after being stitched up by a lover, and she wastes no time putting together her next con – to steal a $150 million necklace while it is being worn by actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) at the Met Gala. To help her with the job she enlists old friend Lou (Cate Blanchett), financially troubled fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), jeweller Amita (Mindy Kaling), retired fence (Sarah Paulson), hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna) and pickpocket Constance (Awkwafina).

Considering this is supposed to be a comedy, it is very light on the laughs and jokes. The film certainly doesn’t take itself seriously but it needed more humour to give it that fun element. I laughed out loud a couple of times tops, and that was mostly at Hathaway, who steals the show as an over-the-top actress. It was an absolute delight seeing her ham it up and give such a fun, fabulous performance. James Corden also helped add a touch of well-needed humour to the mix towards the end as an insurance investigator.

The centre of the piece is supposed to be the heist and, while I loved the Met Gala setting as it looked cool, gave us an insight into what the luxury event looks like inside and was good for cameo spotting, it just failed to ignite the tension and excitement a heist should have. This is the big moment, you’re supposed to be like ‘will their plan work?!’ That never really went through my mind because there was never any sense they wouldn’t pull it off. I didn’t really feel any thrills, danger or suspense – it was so easy!

This has a terrific line-up of actresses, its the ensemble of dreams, and we all know they are capable of more so I think the main issue lies with the script and direction. Admittedly, it must be difficult to flesh out eight characters, and while they are well-defined and distinct in terms of their looks, backgrounds and jobs, you never got to know who anybody was. Debbie is the lead, but she doesn’t have much opportunity to show personality, Lou gets more just cause of her attitude and style, and we get a bit about Weil but it is all told very quickly. Everyone is given a mini introduction and then bish bash bosh, we’re straight into heist planning.

The film goes a mile a minute so the team is assembled very quickly, explanations about how they are going to pull it off are rattled through and then the twist at the end doesn’t quite add up. I didn’t expect realism watching a movie about an impossible heist, but it is so ridiculous and makes little sense. The script really needed more work.

This is hugely disappointing because the cast and exciting premise have been let down and I wanted so much more. It isn’t a trainwreck but it wasn’t the fun adventure I was hoping for – it was mildly funny and entertaining. What a shame.

In cinemas Monday 18th June

SEE ALSO: Ocean’s 8 premiere pictures

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