It’s been 11 years since we last saw an Ocean’s movie, with 2007’s Ocean’s 13 providing a satisfying conclusion to director Steven Soderbergh’s trilogy of light-hearted heists featuring a large ensemble cast of well-known celebrity actors. Now, it’s the ladies’ turn as director Gary Ross reopens his crime-comedy world with an all-female cast in the film Ocean’s 8.
After residing in prison for five years, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), sister to the late Danny Ocean (George Clooney), returns to New York and reconnects with her close friend and partner-in-crime Lou (Cate Blanchett). However, Debbie’s façade of wanting the simple and clean lifestyle is immediately washed away as she falls straight back to her life of crime, setting her sights on robbing one of the most secure and exclusive events in the Big Apple. In order to pull off this complicated job that she’s been planning for years, Debbie and Lou will have to assemble a team with a particular set of skills and talents. Together, the ladies plan to steal a priceless necklace from a famous celebrity, who will be wearing it as she attends the annual Met Gala. However, while all the pieces are in place, it remains to be seen whether Debbie and her team will be able to pull the heist off and walk away scot-free.
Right from the get-go, Ocean’s 8 has very much the same bravado and charm of its predecessor. Ross doesn’t try to shake up the status-quo of the franchise by making it dark or edgy, keeping the film very much in tune with the preceding three features by sticking to the same concept of puncturing a complex, clockwork heist with perfectly-timed comedic moments. Because of this, the movie does run the risk of being a bit too familiar in certain areas, and it could have been better had it been granted a separate identity rather than being tied to the Ocean’s cinematic world.
The film’s setting of New York City also plays to its strength, adding a fun area for Debbie and her team to play around as well as showcasing all the lavish and stylish costumes that the cast wears. However, the main attraction – and the high point of the feature – is the stellar selection of actresses that make up Ocean’s 8 main principal cast. Bullock and Blanchett are perfect in their respective roles as the leaders of the eight (sort of like the George Clooney and Brad Pitt from the original trilogy). The rest of the group – including Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, and Awkwafina – fill out the main roster, each one bringing a fun presence to the picture’s proceedings.
In the end, Ocean’s 8 is an amusing and entertaining spin-off feature that feels more like an extension of Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy than just a simple, gimmicky knock-off. It doesn’t outshine the other movies, but the film delivers on what was promised and proudly fits with the rest of the franchise. In short, Ross’s new feature is a fun spiritual successor that’s worth a trip to the cinema.
Ocean’s 8 is released nationwide on 18th June 2018.
Watch the trailer for Ocean’s 8 here: