Review: Ocean’s 8
Let’s cut to the chase… The female dominated cast of Ocean’s 8 is a 10 but sadly the movie itself is a 5.
Sandra Bullock heads up the eclectic all-star cast as Debbie Ocean, the kid sister of Ocean 11’s Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney. The premise is simple… put together a team of smart women who possess specific skills in order to steal a 150 million dollar necklace. From there the fun should begin but sadly this film lacks the joy of Steven Soderbergh’s 2001 remake of the 60s Rat Pack film.
The fault in Oceans 8 lies in the writing and directing – the jokes fall flat and director Gary Ross brings zero fun or “zip” to the film. Soderbergh’s film had a classic caper feel to it that is sorely lacking here. The cast is excellent but they never get to have fun — much of the time the actresses actually look bored. The clothes and make-up are great and all of these women look spectacular on screen but that’s not what an Ocean’s movie is about. Where’s the comedic banter? Where’s the ball-busting… yes women can ball bust too! Where’s the camaraderie? All of the elements that made the Clooney/Pitt remake spectacular are missing here.
Ocean’s 8 is lacking the zip
The word I came up with is casual. The whole film is all very casual in it’s execution and that’s not what a caper should be!
***BIG SPOILER AHEAD***
Here’s my biggest problem with the film… in the third act we find out that the whole time the 8 were working together to steal the necklace Bullock and Blanchett were also stealing even more jewels at the same time. That’s cool except that in order to do that they enlist the help of “The Amazing” Yen played by Shaobo Qin from the Ocean 11 movies.
This movie is supposed to be about the empowerment of women but instead they need to bring in a MAN to pull off the biggest part of the entire heist. I call foul on that. It ruins everything the film sets out to stand for. I have no idea how any of the women signed off on that because for me it was just d-u-m-b!!
Other problems I had: the filmmakers never decided if Bullock and Blanchett were a romantic couple or not. Surely in 2018 that would not be an issue for anyone. It is alluded to but they never really let the audience know one way or another. Also… James Corden as the insurance fraud investigator took me right out of the film. Corden’s jokes fell like lead balloons and WHY wouldn’t you cast a woman in this role, too? So the woman are crooks but a man is a hero? No, no, no!!! This would have been a great role for Melissa McCarthy or even Oprah Winfrey. Just another missed opportunity.
Overall the film is just okay. Not the stellar summer popcorn movie it was meant to be and not a miserable failure either. I would welcome a return visit in what I assume will be Ocean’s 9 but next time the filmmakers will have to step up their game considerably.
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Pat Francis currently hosts the popular comedy/music podcast “Rock Solid,” called 1 of the 8 great music podcasts to put in your ears by USA Today and featuring artists such as Melissa Etheridge, Sammy Hagar and Susanna Hoffs. His frequent appearances on Jimmy Pardo’s top rated podcast “Never Not Funny” are fan favorites. Pat began his entertainment career as a stand-up comic in Chicago, IL. After touring the country and performing in 42 states at comedy clubs and colleges, he relocated to Los Angeles, CA. There he appeared as a comedian on Comedy Central, AMC, the UCB and is a yearly regular at the San Francisco Sketchfest. For the past 5 years he has also served as Co-Host of the yearly event Pardcast-A-Thon which to date has raised over 700,000 for Smile Train. When not entertaining people in person he also makes his living as a Story Producer for reality television programs. It is also important to know that Pat is a monkey in a human mask.