Director: Gary Ross
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Anne Hathaway, Helena Boham Carter, Richard Armitage, Awkwafina, James Corden
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Released: June 7 2018
Heist movies have remained a cinematic staple going as far back as the 1940s. Throughout the years what has become apparent is how rare a female-led caper is. Most films that are led by women tend to be of people who aren’t career criminals just turning to crime to overcome financial problems. Director Gary Ross aims to change the game with a group of female criminals succeeding in what they do best con steal and hacking their way into one of the most exclusive events in the world, the MET Gala.
Debbie Ocean (SANDRA BULLOCK) fresh out of prison recruits a group of people with her second in command Lou (CATE BLANCHETT). Their goal to steal a one of a kind diamond necklace, the Toussand. Throwing spanners in the works is prominent actress Diane Kluger (ANNE HATHAWAY) and Insurance fraud investigator John Fraizer (JAMES CORDEN).
Hollywood is experiencing a new era with the world pushing more and more for diversity in both people of colour and female-led big budget films. Some films like Black Panther have been met with rapturous applause, others such as the female-led reboot Ghostbusters(2016) have been met with the intense fury of the Internet. Alot the reactions from Ghostbusters seem to stem from people perceiving that their nostalgia has been ruined by the female reboot. Unsurprisingly, because of this when Ocean’s 8 was announced much of the unpleasant thoughts still lingered from that film.
Side-stepping the reboot label, Ross alongside co-writer Olivia Milch establishes early on that BULLOCK’S Debbie is Danny’s sister. The familial relationship is referenced often throughout the film even goes as far as to show one of her prized possession is a watch she stole from her brother (who naturally snatched it from someone else). The writers add a subtle touch by fleshing out this connected universe by featuring a couple of characters from the original Ocean’s trilogy in some key cameos.
As fresh as Ocean’s 8 feels in its diversity there are nevertheless some key heist boxes that they tick off. There always involves a crew typically made up of certain roles like the mastermind (Debbie), the partner in crime (Lou), a hacker (nine ball), the pickpocket (Constance), the acquirer (Tammy), the insider (Rose Weil). Debbie’s Mastermind, you are unlike her brother are witness to her skills. In less than 24 hours out of prison with $40, she secures makeup, accommodation and luggage and clothes. Having such a small crew in comparison to Ocean’s 11 means they invests further time with each character. You are able to see how each of their skills fit into the heist and also their personalities feel more fleshed out. It’s hard not to keep drawing distinctions between the Ocean siblings, Debbie’s past is delved into more in comparison to Danny’s. You grasp why she’s has spent so much time on this plan and how she ends up in prison in the first place. Her brother, on the other hand, seems to just instantly decide out of prison to rob three casinos at once in some twisted way to get his ex-wife back from the owner of those casinos.
While Ocean’s 8 isn’t revolutionary, it is a crime how enjoyable this film is. The cast are all on their A game, the story-line is engaging and unflagging in its pacing and its twists will joyfully surprise you. Crime has never looked this glam.