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Movie Review – Ocean’s 8

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Is Ocean's 8 A Pointless Movie?

  • Story 40%
  • Actors Performance 50%
  • Cinematography 50%
  • Sound Track 70%

Ocean’s 8 (stylized onscreen as Ocean’s Eight) is a 2018 American heist comedy film directed by Gary Ross and written by Ross and Olivia Milch. The film acts as both a continuation and a spin-off from Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy and features an ensemble cast, including Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, and Awkwafina. The film follows a group of women led by Debbie Ocean, the sister of Danny Ocean, who plan a sophisticated heist of the annual Met Gala in New York City.

Directed by Gary Ross

Written by Olivia Milch

Actors: Sandra Bullock

Year: 2018

MPAA Rating: PG-13

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Review by Simone Torn

In 2016, Paul Feig’s Ghostbustersproved that women could also hunt down ghosts (and make us nearly choke on our popcorn with laughter while doing so). Just a year later, Doctor Who’s previous male lead was assigned to a woman, to show the world that like its men, those born with female body parts can also be badass time travelers who travel via phone booths (where can I buy one?). In 2018, Ocean’s 8, the all-female reboot of the Ocean’sseries, set it straight with society that women are also capable of being… criminals?


Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed watching some of Ocean’s 8. I mean who wouldn’t be grinning from ear to ear while witnessing such a baller cast of ladies flaunting their greatness in mesmerizing Met gala gowns? (I nearly spilled my entire box of junior mints when I saw Queen RiRi have her slow-motion staircase walk down in that unforgettable red dress). And I can’t say I was disappointed with Helena Bonham Carter’s signature Burton-esque wardrobe (too soon?). But I couldn’t help but wonder as each goddess graced the screen… why the hell was this movie made?  

It kinda makes me want to get one of those Doctor Who phone booths to travel back in time to the writers’ room and ask the director Gary Ross and writer Olivia Milch why they plan on wasting all this time and money. With such a brilliant cast of A-listers, you’d think the movie would be a recipe for cinematic greatness. Think again. The energy level coming from these actors is similar to a set of people forced to attend a family reunion. Despite the heavy action and excitement that the Ocean’s series promises, I can’t help but think that throughout the film, all Hathaway wants to do is go home and watch reruns of Frasierwith her chocolate lab. Even Carter, a natural at bringing energy and delicious whimsy to the screen, has the spirit here of someone in the waiting room of a dentist office.

Why is there such a lack of zest here? Perhaps it could have something to do with the fact that none of these women seem inspired. A reboot where these leading ladies play two-dimensional heist queens with a script that’s as spunky and fresh as a pharmacy commercial? It’s no wonder they’re all so detached. Even with some of the funniest people alive in this movie, (Mindy Kaling and Awkwafina), you’d think they’d bring an air of much-needed comedic glory to the screen… But I barely chuckled at a single line from their genius mouths. Why isn’t this movie wayfunnier? With such a lighthearted vibe that Ocean’s 8is supposed to have, where are all the laughs that get the audience going? And HOW COME we didn’t get to see Anne Hathaway re-enter the Vogue building to interact with Anna Wintour a.k.a Miranda Priestly?? By all means, movie, move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me…

I guess what I’m debating about here, is whether or not a reboot needs to be made if it serves no greater purpose. Past movies and shows have rebooted classics to star more diverse casts and women, to prove that those in the minority group are just as capable and worthy as their non-minority counterparts. This, I think, is a good thing. Would I prefer that instead of rebooting classics, Hollywood would step up its game and create more original content starring diverse casts? Surely, but that’s a topic for another time. But if we’re rebooting a movie about men who want to steal things, (but with WOMEN now!), I just feel as though there’s no heart put into the project. There’s nothing wrong with a dumb/fun movie starring women- I mean there are thousands starring men. (Ever see Grown Ups 2?). But this movie isn’t fun. If it was, I’m not sure I’d be writing this article. Overall, Ocean’s 8gets a 4/10 rating from me. Yes, it sometimes looks beautiful, but the watered down spirit and lazy script overall just snatch the enjoyment away that I was really hoping for once I saw the trailer. Ocean’s 8just feels like a failed attempt of some kind of “statement” that women can steal stuff too, and look cool while doing it.   

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