In a world full of unlimited film ideas, with new worlds and ideas being explored, there’s one genre we just can’t escape: reboot. Further, they did it with “Ghostbusters”, and it’s on the cards for “The Expendables” – that is, taking an all-male cast and replacing them with female leads. Abra-Kadabra, you’ve got yourself a new idea! While I’m all for the elimination of the glass ceiling, is the gender-swapping once-over really a positive step-forward in female empowerment or simply an excuse for studios to ravage their vaults for old brands they can further exploit?
While it’s definitely refreshing seeing an all-female cast headline a huge Summer release “Ocean’s 8” , like so many recent do-overs, does not go against the grain and cement itself within the world of decent reboots. They might as well have filmed a studio exec, trapped in a glass box, as it blows around dollar notes it’s that obvious a cash grab.
2001’s “Ocean’s Eleven”, with charming swindler Danny Ocean (George Clooney) at the head of an 11-man group who rob the major casinos in Las Vegas, was a remake of a 1960 film starring rat-pack crew Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin – among others – that dazzled, delighted and danced on a punchy, proficiently-entertaining canvas. Lady luck also shined upon its sequels, released in and , respectively.
“Ocean’s 8” is essentially a spin-off (one that, without this cast, would’ve been designed as a direct-to-video follow-up… where it belongs) of the Clooney/Brad Pitt/Matt Damon starring films, with a throwaway reference and the odd cameo to remind us of such.
Like the earlier films, it’s all about the ‘all-star cast’ with heavyweights Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter the star attractions here.
Sandra Bullock is Danny Ocean’s sister Debbie. Fresh out of prison, Debbie reconnects with her partner-in-crime Lou (Cate Blanchett) with an idea to swipe a diamond necklace worth $150m.
Together the duo assembles a team of 8 (the names listed above) with a master plan to obtain the Cartier stunner from the star-studded Met Gala in New York City. Creatively – or so the crooks believe – they carry out the swindle with ease… in pretty dresses and hot lippy.
It’s that main ruse that gives the “Ocean”s films their energy but unfortunately the fiddle here isn’t so much clever and captivating as it is dull and unimaginative.
“Ocean’s 8” fails to take flight, and instead sits on the runway, barely moving. Quite frankly, it’s boring. It’s incredibly predictable, and any surprises you may wish for are non-existent.
The beauty of Steven Sodbergh’s earlier “Ocean’s” films were how clever their librettos were, and the heists they pulled off are impressive and intriguing. “Ocean’s 8” takes no page out of this book, failing to impress with the single heist that seems a little too simple given the apparent skills of the group. The whole movie really fails to pack a punch, instead relying on sass and stilettos to divert the audience from its skeletal make-up.
The comedy in director Gary Ross’s (“The Hunger Games”) film is seriously weak, and if you think that the usually-dependable Bullock’s dry wit will get you through, you’re seriously wrong. Not only that, but none of the main characters have any ‘oomph’ to them – they’re all just there. Which is a shame, as with a cast full of names like what they’ve got, you’d think they could get them a better script going, but none of them have any lasting impact.
I could go on – but it’s hard to find the words for this one (Katie – speechless?! Well that’s a first!). It’s just baffling how this film actually got made. I really did try to enjoy it, I promise. But ultimately there’s only one major heist in this film, and that’s the bit where they take $25 out of your wallet for the ticket price to see it.
‘’Ocean’s’’ should run deeper than this.