Review: Ocean’s 8

Sandra Bullock leads a group of smart and determined women in Ocean’s 8 – the sequel/reboot of 2001’s Ocean’s 11 remake.

Much like the previous Ocean’s series, 8 is about an impossible heist, an eccentric crew with specific skills, and it wouldn’t be complete without a personal grudge – the Oceans wouldn’t have it any other way.

Immediately after Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) is released from her 5 year prison sentence, she begins her plans to steal $150 million dollar necklace. The plan is to steal the necklace off the neck of actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) at the annual Met Gala.

Stealing an expensive necklace at the most surveillanced party of the year requires the prefect crew. The crew includes  Lou (Cate Blanchett), Amita (Mindy Kaling), Tammy (Sarah Paulson), Constance (Awkwafina), Nine Ball (Rihanna), and Rose (Helena Bonham Carter).

Heist films are a broad genre that usually involves a person(s) stealing something of great value. What makes this genre work so well is the anti-hero the audience is forced to cheer for. Most people hate thieves, yet we find ourselves cheering for them as they steal and outsmart law enforcement. It’s never for some noble cause like Robin Hood, usually the heist is for their personal gain, revenge, or both.

What makes the Oceans movies so fun is how cool they make thieves look – Ocean’s 8 is no different. In one of the opening scenes, Debbie walks with so much confidence and elegance as she cons her way into an extravagant hotel. Later on when the big heist goes down, it’s never tense. However, you get the feeling they’re having fun pulling off the heist. Not only are they having a blast stealing, they look good doing it.

If there’s one negative, Debbie is the only character that is given a back-story or an examination deeper than the skills she brings to the table. The other women in the group are interesting and the story could’ve benefited if their characters were developed more.

If you’re a fan of the Oceans movies, 8 is right up your alley. The movie has the same score feeling and fun of the previous films. It’s missing a little of the Steven Soderbergh magic that made Ocean’s 11 a classic, but that doesn’t stop it from being fun heist film.

The heist sequence is a lot fun. Although most of the film is watching the crew plan it, the details are only revealed during actual heist. There are a few surprises and twist along the way to keep audiences guessing.

The film wisely uses the Met Gala as springboard for celebrity cameos that include designers, actors, musicians, and athletes.

Although Ocean’s 8 isn’t unique in its storytelling, it’s unique in cast and that’s the strength of the film. The diverse cast of women is so refreshing to see. They have such good chemistry, they’d be great in any movie together. There’s never a fear that Debbie and her crew will get caught, it’s just fun watching them pull off an impossible heist. The outcome of these films is never what make them great, it’s the journey and the characters you meet along the way that makes the films so engaging. Ocean’s 8 keeps the spirit of the trilogy alive and adds new blood to make one of the most charming heist films in years.

Grade: B