Review: Ocean’s 8 – More tolerable than the Ghostbusters reboot

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Ocean’s 8 (2018)

Movie review

Directed and co-written by Gary Ross (The Hunger Games, Seabiscuit), Ocean’s 8 is a spin-off of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy (2001 – 2007) which seems more like an all-female, soft-reboot of the series. The plot follows Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), the sister of the original’s character Danny (George Clooney), who forms a team with Lou (Cate Blanchett) and six other women with diverse backgrounds and specialties to steal a necklace worth millions from the Met Gala.

The film features a star-studded cast who are mostly fantastic with their roles, particularly Helena Bonham Carter (The Wings of the Dove, The King’s Speech) as Rose Weil the disgraced fashion designer and Anne Hathaway (Colossal, Les Miserable) as Daphne Kruger the seemingly dumb celebrity. Pop singer Rihanna also offers some unnecessary eye candy as the genius hacker, “Nine Ball”. None of the characters are unlikable and every one of them has their own unique skill set and personality. Sadly, Sandra Bullock (The Heat, Speed) and Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine, The Aviator) never quite provide the same kind of strong chemistry as their counterparts George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

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Although Ocean’s 8 isn’t terrible, it fails to give a fresher take on the heist comedy genre. The plot is formulaic, relies on one too many unconvincingly easy obstacles, and the reveal of the twists in the final act could’ve been much more impactful. While it does try to retain Soberbergh’s stylistic approach, its humour, charm and cool-factor are much weaker compared to the original trilogy. It also feels somewhat chick flick-ish when the main character’s main motivation for the heist includes revenge on her ex-boyfriend (Claude played by Richard Armitage). Aw, you poor criminal, seduced and betrayed by a handsome man. However, at least this “spin-off” isn’t as hypocritical, disrespectful or sexist as the 2016 all-female Ghostbusters reboot. And unlike the Ghostbusters reboot, Ocean’s 8 pays some genuine homage to the original trilogy.

In overall, Ocean’s 8 is a decently enjoyable and never boring but I’m not sure I want to see more of this. Since this one’s started with ‘8’, it’s obvious they’re planning to have a ‘9’ and ’10’ to complete a trilogy just like the original’s Ocean’s 11, 12 and 13. If there’s going to be a sequel, I hope to see a more complex and believable heist with a less simplistic story and with (more of) the characters from the original trilogy involved.

What I would’ve named the film: “Ocean’s Sister’s Revenge on Ex-Boyfriend”

Malaysian censorship: Arts with nudity in the background are noticeably blurred but makeout scenes are not censored. Hmmm…

Verdict: No where as good as any of the the original Ocean’s trilogy but entertaining enough.

Rating: 3 / 5

ocean's 8 movie poster malaysiaBased on: The 2001 – 2007 “Ocean’s” film trilogy which was based on the 1960 film “Ocean’s 11”

Genre: Heist comedy
Running Time: 111 minutes
Director: Gary Ross
Screenwriters: Gary Ross, Olivia Milch
Cast:
Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Richard Armitage, James Corden, Awkwafina, with Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter

Malaysia Release Date: 14 June 2018
Rated: P13
Local Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Malaysia
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, Smoke House Picture, (and more)

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