Sandra Bullock & Heist Crew Con Us in ‘Ocean’s 8’

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Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – In “Ocean’s 8,” a diamond necklace at the Met Gala isn’t the only thing getting ripped off. This all female knock off provides a reasonable facsimile of a facsimile of the original’s suave swagger, but doesn’t have anything else to go on. “Oceans 11” is a movie that never should have gotten a sequel, much less become some kind of a franchise.

And while “Oceans 8” is admittedly a step up from the unwatchable rich guys travelogue “Oceans 12,” it’s ultimately just spinning its wheels in an exercise in pointlessness. Sandra Bullock stars as the heretofore unmentioned sister of George Clooney’s Danny Ocean. After serving five years in the clink for a petty art scam, she’s been dreaming up a foolproof plan for her one big comeback score. She wants to steal the world’s most valuable diamond necklace at the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art Gala in New York City.

Sandra Bullock (left) and Crew in ‘Ocean’s 8’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

So in true Ocean’s fashion, she sets about recruiting a crew which includes Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Helena Bonham Carter, and Anne Hathaway. This a murderers row of talented and often funny and charming women… however, they’re given very little to do, or much in the way of snappy dialogue. They get some snazzy outfits, but that’s about it.

You don’t going into this type of a heist picture hoping for believability. So while the heist target is intriguing enough, Bullock and company botch the execution. There’s no tension or crackle to this caper. The fashion industry cameos from Anna Wintour and company don’t help matters, since they are desperately trying to be “in on a joke” without having a clue what may actually be funny.

There’s no reason an all female “Ocean’s” heist movie can’t work, but co-screenwriter/director Gary Ross doesn’t seem to have much of a clue of how to do it. He copies some of the visual tricks from mentor Steven Soderbergh, but can’t keep up the ruse. There’s a lot of scenes of funny women doing not particularly funny things, and then trying to coast on charm alone. And by the time James Corden shows up as an insurance investigator in the third act, it only seems to prolong the proceedings, and it becomes clear this film is running on fumes.

The Heist in the Digital Age with ‘Ocean’s 8’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

I suppose an all female heist comedy counts for something in this current era, and congrats to Bullock and company for pulling the con of getting the thing made in the first place. But frankly they deserve better than another man’s reheated leftovers… those times in these “Oceans” was enough.

“Oceans 8” opens everywhere in on June 8th. Featuring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson and James Corden. Written by Gary Ross and Olivia Milch. Directed by Gary Ross. Rated “PG-13” contributor Spike Walters


© 2018 Spike Walters,

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