Likable cast does a soft reboot of a popular, but not critically acclaimed franchise; with a gender flip. Not a huge fan of the originals personally, but intrigued enough going in based solely on a strong cast. Could the women pull off an upset when Clooney and Pitt never could?
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
After being left out to dry as the patsy in a heist, Danny Ocean’s sister, Debbie, is sent to jail for five years. When she gets out, she immediately goes for the big score: a diamond heist at the New York Metropolitan Museum’s Annual Gala.
It’s time to get a crew together and plan a caper.
- The less famous cast members are great. Like in Crazy Rich Asians, Awkwafina steals the show here. I just really love her zany style. I hope she gets a leading role before it wears thin, because I suspect she only has one gear and it could get old. It hasn’t yet, so she is utterly charming. Sara Paulson (12 Years a Slave), Mindy Kaling (A Wrinkle In Time), and Rihanna are not exactly nobodies, but as actresses, they do play in the shadows of their more prominent co-stars. Yet they all added a lot of flavor (and much needed diversity) to the cast.
- The use of the Met as a backdrop really worked. The beauty, the conspicuous wealth, and the pomp really was a good setting for a heist film. There was something of a 1% thing going on in a film…even though it was a project starring millionaires, financed by billionaires.
- It didn’t exactly follow a classic. There wasn’t much in the way of expectations to live up to for this cross-gender remake/reboot/soft boot. Ghostbusters had a tough act to follow. This one was a layup by comparison, so the trolls weren’t hating on it.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
- The leads were Meh. You put three Oscar winners in a cast, you don’t expect them to get outshined by their supporting cast, but Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok), and Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises) are all by the numbers; adding nothing special or intriguing. Their unexpected mediocrity really pulls the film down.
- It is a mediocre caper. Despite the cool set of The Met, the caper itself is one we have all seen before. That is why I don’t really like caper films; they don’t challenge you in the least because it is often the same recipe with a few different flavors added in to cover the tedium. This is also was Ryan loves caper movies. There is a recipe with capers as an ingredient joke to be made, but this review is coming five months after the film was released so I am not making a big effort here…
- Did this needs to be a part of the Oceansverse? Jenny has me conditioned that female properties do not need to be derivative of a male-centric franchise. There should be originals not tied to the male original. Did this need to be an Oceans movie? Couldn’t it have been an original story? Down with the patriarch!
The premise was cute, the execution was mediocre. I think this movie would have been much more enjoyable, if less successful, if the B-cast members had done this by themselves.
I didn’t hate it, but I am not kicking myself for missing it in theaters.
Overall, I give OCEAN’S 8 a score of 7 “At Least Julie Roberts Didn’t Play Julie Roberts” out of 10.