Movie Reviews

Ocean’s 8 – A Spinoff With A Reason To Exist

Well, I think I’m an Anne Hathaway stan now…..

Synopsis: Five years, eight months, 12 days…and counting.  That’s how long Debbie Ocean has been devising the biggest heist of her life. She knows what it’s going to take—a team of the best in their field, starting with her partner-in-crime Lou Miller.  Together, they recruit a crew of specialists: jeweler Amita; street con Constance; expert fence Tammy; hacker Nine Ball; and fashion designer Rose. The target is a cool $150 million dollars in diamonds—diamonds that will be around the neck of world-famous actress Daphne Kluger, who will be center stage at the event of the year, the Met Gala. The plan is rock solid, but everything will need to be flawless if the team is going to get in and get away with the ice. All in plain sight. (Warner Bros.)

Starring: Sandra BullockCate Blanchett, and Anne Hathaway

Writers: Gary Ross and Olivia Milch

Director: Gary Ross

Rating: 14A (Canada)/PG-13 (United States)

Running Time: 110mins

Trailer: 

At the seams, it’s reasonable to think the existence of a Danny Ocean spinoff is a full-on cash grab, with no point other than greed- especially considering 2 of the 3 films in the franchise weren’t exactly the most memorable of films. Thankfully, in one of the biggest surprises of the year, Ocean’s 8 hits all the notes that make a fantastic heist film, but additionally, brings new and unexpected elements to the table. Not only is Ocean’s 8 the second best film in the Ocean’s Franchise, but one of the most fun, hyperactively written and edited heist films ever.

In terms of the heist film, especially following in the footsteps of Danny Ocean and his crew, one of the things this film does right is the cast. Not a single member of the eight, including was poorly placed, and all of them bring an equally important component to the team. Additionally, no one fights for the spotlight here- everyone gets an equal amount of screen time, strong dialogue and wit. However, it is important to mention a few- Bullock and Blanchett as Danny Ocean’s estranged sister Debbie and her partner in crime Lou respectively, lead the heist and are definitely highlights and the best they have been in a while. However, most importantly, Anne Hathaway as famed actress Daphne Kluger, the target of the heist, has reached her peak here. Her extremely over-the-top portrayal of high fashion and celebrity is, although simple at first glance, brilliantly accurate and shockingly memorable. Additionally, the hyperactive style of editing works out in its favor- something that the Ocean’s franchise is no stranger to. The extremely witty and lightning fast dialogue all combine together to make a truly extravagant, epic of a heist- not to mention that the heist itself is brilliantly done.

It is also worth mentioning, as this may be an expectation of many audience members- this is a genuinely good film with a script and craft that is not driven by SJW motives. Many may expect this movie to be much more feminist-centric than it truly is. Although it is quite empowering to see a group of such clever and talented female actresses and characters- there is minimal emphasis on the fact that they actually are women. This definitely creates for a more immersive and investing experience of a crime film, that truly creates a feeling that you are part of the team.

However, there are some nitpicks to be made- for starters, the film often becomes really jarring and confusing with its plot progression. The biggest example of this was how Paulson’s character, a fence named Tammy, manages to get a job with the event where the team plans to execute the heist- with no explanation. The film often takes shortcuts like this, that only create confusion. But, the way in which these are executed are definitely impressive enough to overlook.

This is definitely a film not to dismiss- although it may seem like something that you can miss out on, this is one of the best, smartest and most entertaining crime films in quite a while- and primarily due to just how unique it is.

Score: 8/10

Follow me on twitter @daniel_azbel and on letterboxd @danthemovieman.

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4 replies »

  1. Great review Keith – I’m really looking forward to seeing this! Do you need to have watched the other Ocean’s movies first? Embarrassingly, I haven’t seen any of them…

  2. I agree with Danny, this is a stand alone movie and there’s no reason to have to see the others first. Seeing them gives more a sense of how much of an unapologetic criminal she is, but not seeing the first shouldn’t take away from this movie (except that Oceans 11 is a good movie you should see).

    I enjoyed this one, it made a great lunch date at the movie grill with my wife. The connection to the characters I think could have been better, but overall it was an entertaining and funny movie. And like the first, will have you cheering for the antihero.