Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Ocean's 8: Movie Review

A stylish film with comedy, crimes and fashion.

A satisfying spin-off of the Ocean’s franchise, Ocean’s 8 continues the trend of all-star casts and sleek heists. Those two attributes are the movie’s main highlights and writer-director Gary Ross knows it. It opens with a delightfully immoral Sandra Bullock (playing Debbie Ocean, the sister of George Clooney’s Danny Ocean) remorsefully explaining to the parole officer that she is ready to put crime behind her and live a quiet life. Cut to the freshly-released Debbie in a slinky black dress explaining that she’s got 45 bucks in her pocket so she can go wherever she wants. 2018

Directed by: Gary Ross

Screenplay by: Gary Ross, Olivia Milch

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway,
Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson

The beginning of the film at least offers an energizing mix of comedy and clever cons. Bullock is excellent casting for the lead as she naturally exhibits that effortless charm and a hint of alluring danger. Before she meets up with her partner in crime (literally) Cate Blanchett’s Lou, she swiftly moves from prison orange to high society furs and makeup. Offering viewers with a funny and simple con, so simple one would be tempted to try it themselves, but the film smartly moves on to bigger fish so the audience isn’t actively thinking about becoming a criminal themselves for very long.

Debbie has spent five years planning a heist to perfection and needs Lou’s help in gathering the right people for the job. Blanchett’s role is wearing fashion-forward clothes and standing just behind Debbie. I’m okay with that; Bullock does deserve most of the spotlight. Of the supporting cast, Rihanna as a very skilled hacker with impeccable line delivery and steals all of the comedy when she’s present. Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter are also particularly delightful in their extreme characters of an egotistical actress and eccentric fashion designer.

There are a few issues with character motivations (*cough, Debbie, cough*). that are written solely for the sake of a more satisfying conclusion. But that’s also the point of such a movie – it goes for the satisfying even if it’s not the most appropriate or original approach. Satisfying is what keeps audiences smiling throughout.

The heist is reasonably clever; each actress pulling off their part of a much bigger con keeps the film moving even if there isn’t that much more to it. Their surprise when Debbie mentions the possibility of being investigated for insurance fraud is conspicuously odd – they just spent the entire movie committing multiple crimes with a huge financial payoff and yet they didn’t realize they were committing crimes? Not sure how that works.

Ocean’s 8 got what they came for: an entertaining cast with an interesting heist and style. It’s a stylish film with comedy, crimes and fashion.