After 5 years, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) gets out of prison with a plan for a big score. She intends to steal a Cartier necklace worth $150 million from the neck of the Hollywood socialite wearing it (Anne Hathaway), during New York's annual Met Gala. If she's going to pull this off, Debbie will need to assemble a crew of skilled individuals...maybe 7 or 8 of them.
Director Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) has done a reasonable job of filling Steven Soderbergh's shoes. Ocean's Eight - much like its predecessors - is a lot of fun. It's also a sequel, not a remake. Debbie Ocean is the sister of the now deceased Danny, something the movie repeatedly reminds you of. But apart from the references to Danny and a couple of cameos, Ocean's Eight does a good job of standing on its own two feet. The casting is perfect, our crew of quirky criminals all have excellent chemistry. Bullock and Blanchett are excellent as the ring leaders, just don't try any of Debbie's shopping methods. But it's Anne Hathaway who seems to have the most fun, playing the air-headed Daphne Kluger.
With heist movies, the setup is often something to get through before the main event. But with the Oceans movies, setting up the heist is just as entertaining as the heist itself. And the same can be said here. It's hilarious to see Rose (Helena Bonham Carter) attempting to get a 3D scan of the necklace or Debbie giving a pre-kick off pep talk (whilst standing in a public toilet) about inspiring the 8 year old girl who lies in bed at night dreaming of being a criminal. As the gang set their plan in motion, the movie becomes a who's who of female celebrities. But what makes Eight interesting is its dealings with the aftermath of such a theft. James Corden is annoyingly James Corden as the insurance investigator brought in to recover the necklace. His character is also stereotypically English - annoyed that he's missing Arsenal. But this turn of events does force Debbie and Lou (Cate Blanchett) to try and cover their tracks.
The problem Ocean's Eight has is that it lacks suspense. At no point do you get the slightest inkling that the gang won't succeed. As many have already guessed there is a twist, well actually there's two. The first is blindingly obvious and has been since the movie was announced. Had it been handled better, this reveal could have been one of the high points of the movie. Following on from that, the second twist comes out of nowhere - oh yeah, by the way we also did this. Ocean's Eight should actually be called Ocean's Nine because the majority of the crew aren't involved in this part of the job and a ringer is brought in to help.
Despite being a little "heist movie by numbers", Ocean's Eight does live up to its title. It's fun, it's clever and it's glamorous. Yes the twist is clumsily executed and the movie goes a bit over the top with world building/linking and its attempts to set up a sequel (Danny's "dead" remember). But I wouldn't be disappointed to see this crew come together for another job.
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