What an odd franchise to reboot. Not that I don’t get it, as the Ocean’s movies were pretty popular, but… eh. Or at least, I would continue that indifference if I wasn’t kind of in love with the cast.
The story looks like it’s about Danny Ocean’s sister recently getting released from prison and despite saying that she intends to live a straight life, she intends to recruit a team to rob a rich-bitch’s diamond necklace. Worst thing to find out is if it gets a little too repetitive by telling us that she took her husband, or something.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Sandra Bullock (OUR BRAND IS CRISIS , MINIONS , and the upcoming BIRD BOX ), Cate Blanchett (THOR: RAGNAROK , KNIGHT OF CUPS , CAROL , and upcoming films THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS  and MOWGLI ), Anne Hathaway (COLOSSAL , ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS , and the upcoming SERENITY  and THE HUSTLE ), Helena Bonham Carter (SGT. STUBBY  and ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS), and Mindy Kaling (A WRINKLE IN TIME , INSIDE OUT , and the upcoming LATE NIGHT ). In support, we have Sarah Paulson (THE POST , REBEL IN THE RYE , CAROL, and upcoming films BIRD BOX and GLASS ), Rihanna (VALERIAN ), Awkwafina (STORKS , NEIGHBORS 2 , and upcoming films CRAZY RICH ASIANS  and PARADISE HILL ), James Corden (PETER RABBIT , EMOJI MOVIE , TROLLS , and upcoming films SMALLFOOT  and TROLLS 2 ), and Dakota Fanning (AMERICAN PASTORAL , and the upcoming VIENA AND THE FANTOMES ).
Now for the crew. Directing and co-writing is Gary Ross, known for FREE STATE OF JONES (2016). Ross’ partner-in-pen is Olivia Milch, who is slated to pen the upcoming BARBIE (2020). Composing the score is Daniel Pemberton, known for MOLLY’S GAME (2017), THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (2015), and the upcoming SCARBOROUGH (2018). The cinematographer is Eigil Bryld, known for TULIP FEVER (2017). Finally, the editor is Juliette Welfling, known for FREE STATE OF JONES, and the upcoming THE SISTERS BROTHERS (2018).
Overall, I admit, I don’t know why Bullock’s character needs to be related to Clooney’s character from his Danny Ocean films. I doubt we’re even going to see the dude, rendering Bullock’s character’s relation to him pretty pointless, or even if we do see Clooney at some point (ten bucks says it’ll be during the final ten minutes of the movie), it won’t be for any meaningful amount of time. I think this would be better served as a simple reboot of the franchise, just like OCEAN’S ELEVEN was. With that said, I adore most of this cast, with only Rhianna and Awqwafina being the odd ones out, and the even worse Corden, who will likely be my least favorite part of the film, but I am looking forward to both the Matt Damon and Carl Reiner cameos. Those are sure to be fun. Man, Damon is really going for being the king of random-ass cameos these days, ain’t he?
This is my honest opinion of: OCEAN’S 8
After more than five years in prison, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), sister of notorious thief Danny Ocean, has just been released. But instead of aiming for the simple life, she decides to rob the Met Gala, very specifically, a 250 million dollar diamond necklace that will be worn around famed actress, Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway). With the help of her closest friend Lou (Cate Blanchett), they recruit a group of seven women to pull off the heist.
God damn it, I have no idea if I was just tired, or if this movie was that boring, but I didn’t like this. It’s not awful, or even really bad, I guess, but it lacks any real interest to the point where watching sections of it is a chore.
So here we go, first and foremost, I do genuinely love most of the cast. I love seeing Bullock on the big screen, it happens so infrequently, and to see her working off of the likes of Blanchett and Paulson is somehow a dream come true of sorts. I still haven’t gotten my movie where Bullock acts alongside Julia Roberts, but that’s neither here nor there. However, it’s sadly not Bullock that stands out. In fact, weirdly enough, it’s Hathaway that steals the show. She’s got the best defined character. She’s hilariously vain and wholly in love with herself. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the part where Daphne is admiring herself in the mirror with the necklace on and is all like, “Look how beautiful you are.” Not only do I love how you can’t tell if she’s talking about the necklace, or herself, or both, but that’s her character all the way through the film. Doesn’t make her the most likable, but at least she has personality. Debbie has some personality and Bullock’s charm pushes through for the most part, but when stacked next to Daphne, she really pales.
As for everyone else… what? Lou’s just the best friend, and barely contributes outside of knowing who to recruit. Rose (Helena Bonham Carter) is the eccentric fashionista, but she’s so soft-spoken that I could barely understand half of her lines when she talks. And don’t get me started on Nine Ball (Rhianna), Constance (Awkwafina), Amita (Mindy Kaling), and Tammy (Paulson), who are literally just there to round out the cast and leave no impact whatsoever, which is a crying shame for some of them. Kaling can be funny, Paulson is a good actress, but their talent is wasted. Both Rhianna and Awkwafina might as well have been brooms and planks of wood they were so uninteresting. Hell, I remember Nine Ball’s little sister more than Nine Ball herself. I don’t remember her name, but I remember her energy and charisma. Awkwafina had some potential when she was first introduced as this fast-talking pickpocket, but the damn, as soon as her scene ends there, the movie never recaptures whatever charm they were about to give her. I was thinking the movie would have been better served if they were replace by the likes of (at the top of my head) Anna Kendrick, or Jillian Bell, who have big expressive personalities, but then I realized while the star-power would have saved face, the characters would still be blander than bread and neither Kendrick, nor Bell deserve these roles on their résumés.
Hell, the movie’s ultimate reason for it all was kind of lame, and I’m not talking about the money from the jewelry. I’m talking about the whole “framing the ex-boyfriend” thing. For one thing, I don’t remember the character’s name. Second, I don’t remember the actor’s face. Thirdly, and this is the movie’s fault, I don’t know who this guy is. Yes, he’s the reason why Debbie went away for five years, and she wants revenge against him while making a little profit on the side. Still, we never get any time to learn about him. For one thing, Debbie’s a con artists and a thief. Guess what? They tend to go to jail. Having only one side of the story explained to the audience does very little in order for us to understand why we should be invested in her revenge. We need to know Claude (I looked his name up on IMDb) as an asshole firsthand, otherwise we could fairly assume that Debbie’s putting away, for all intents and purposes, a good Samaritan. I know, I know, he’s not, we get enough of a sense of his personality, but still, it’s just thin. In ELEVEN, we know firsthand that Andy Garcia’s character is a pretentious slime-ball, so we want to see him ruined. But in this movie, nope, we don’t learn anything about him other than the bare-bone basics, and that’s not enough to get invested.
Overall, this isn’t a very good movie. Like a lot of movies lately, I want to like it and even love it, but the writing is so sub par that I couldn’t get interested for very long. It’s boring, a majority of the characters are boring, and the ending is a whole bunch of “who cares” by the time the credits roll. Only Bullock and Hathaway really save it, but not by a whole lot. As a recommendation, I say… rental at best. Even then, I might not say it’s worth the time, as it doesn’t even do anything that you couldn’t find in the previous installments done better. It’s not horrible, and it’s well-made enough, but it’s a crying shame that this fell so short of its anticipated mark. The plan may be priceless, but the movie is a dud.
My honest rating for OCEAN’S 8: a weak 3/5
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