Ocean’s 8

VERDICT

Ocean’s 8 continues the legacy of its predecessors – while not a must watch, it’s a fun two hours filled with snappy dialogue from your favorite actors. Catch it at the cheap seats or streaming.


REVIEW

The Good: The cast chemistry, Anne Hathaway, and that Ocean’s je ne sais quoi.

The Ocean’s franchise has always been about watching big-time actors who rarely work together be witty and wear nice clothes in a posh location. It’s pretty fun to see George Clooney and Brad Pitt trade snarky remarks at the Bellagio. Ditto Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett, but this time at the Met Gala.

There’s little else to say about it – Ocean’s 8 is nearly identical to its predecessor, just as each of the original sequels was essentially the same movie +1 person.

What can be said: the cast chemistry is pretty great, especially regarding Rihanna. She continues to develop as an actor, showcasing a very different type of character than we’ve seen before.

However, the show stealer is Anne Hathaway, who gets to play an incredibly campy, over-the-top superstar. Her comedic chops are as finely honed as her dramatic, and it’s a privilege to witness them. One can only hope Hathaway gets to explore this side of her career more often in the future.

The Bad: It’s overwhelmingly fine – but it feels like it could be a lot more.

There’s very little to complain about here – you just want more.

The cast is great together, so why don’t we get more instances with their interaction? The heist is great, but it happens so quickly. The third act twist delivers the “ah-ha!” moment, but still feels reserved.

Even with this feeling of incompleteness, the “epilogue” goes on a beat too long. For those who have seen the previous entries in the franchise, this especially drags, as you know everything you are seeing is moot.

The fact that you only want more of all the good things this movie has to deliver is far from a bad thing.

But it does leave you with an undeniable sense that what you saw could’ve been great, in a way that even the originals never quite reached.

The Ugly: It tries a little too hard to “legitimize” itself.

Bullock plays Debbie Ocean, the sister of Danny Ocean, Clooney’s character from Ocean’s 11. And the movie makes sure you know this fact.

Many times.

Many, many times.

It reeks of the same “necessity” to “legitimize” this all-women adaptation that Ghostbusters (2016) fell prey to.

It can’t just be an all-women reboot, with no need for explanation, especially since no one on Earth really cares about this franchise or any imagined continuity. It must somehow connect, it must be a spinoff, or at least a continuation-with-respect, to its predecessor.

And that’s sad because it deserves more than that. Ocean’s does not owe 11 anything. It’s a very successful heist movie all on its own.

Instead, if it’s to set up a possible crossover, an Ocean’s 21 if you will, then it’s a little hamfisted, but great. Let’s hope that was the intention.


Synopsis

“Upon her release from prison, Debbie, the estranged sister of legendary conman Danny Ocean, puts together a team of unstoppable crooks to pull of the heist of the century. Their goal is New York City’s annual Met Gala, and a necklace worth in excess of 150 million dollars.” -Rotten Tomatoes

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Originally from the bear-infested schools of Wyoming, but now lives in Chicago. More importantly, he achieved minor Twitter fame once and hasn’t stopped bringing it up since. He has a healthy obsession with Star Wars, Wonder Woman, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Bulbasaur. Please validate him by following him on Twitter, @ericsmorals

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