Ocean’s 8 – 3/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Ocean’s 8 – 3/5 – The innate goal of any film is to capture something of value.  That value could be rebranding old concepts or continuation of a story.  This is true for unique films known as spinoffs.  These types capture these concepts and spin them in with a goal of revitalization.  Ocean’s 8 is a spinoff that takes the Ocean’s series and focuses on another group that will aim to perform a daring heist.  Even with some decent acting and intriguing genre elements, there is a lot of predictability that makes Ocean’s 8 an average film.

Premise:  After getting released from prison Debbie Ocean enlist an all-female crew to attempt a daring heist of priceless jewels at the Met Gala in New York.

This film is built around an ensemble cast.  For a full list, please refer to the film’s IMDb page.  There are a three stand outs from the ensemble:

Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean

Cate Blanchett as Lou

Anne Hathaway as Daphne Kluger

These three do a good job being the anchors for the ensemble.  From Debbie (The Leader), Lou (Second in Command) to Daphne Kluger (Auspicious Villain), they take the caricature off the pages and mesh it with their own personalities.  The commandment of the screen, stark line delivery and fluid dynamic shows strength of their acting abilities to flesh out basic archetypes.  The rest of the ensemble are serviceable when on screen.  With an outline focused on the heist, giving general explanation of their ‘purpose’ allows everyone to be distinct to a degree.  Their mannerism and chemistry is prime, giving heartiness to the concepts of the film.  You believe each unique personality, even if they aren’t completely flesh out.

The direction follows the outline of a heist film, with some added elements of the Ocean’s series.  Being a spinoff, the general confines of a sequel are unhinged.  A spinoff allows for brevity of script but remain connected to the series with some plot element.  That connection comes in the form of Sandra Bullocks’ Debbie Ocean being the sister of George Clooney’s Danny Ocean.  Once this connection is made, you’re quickly introduced to the film’s heist plot.  This first act has the director take a ‘plug and play’ method with character types, narrative and linear progression, leaning the script to the rudimentary selection of each character that will be part of the Debbie’s plan to steal priceless jewels.  Once everyone comes into the group, the film moves quickly to flesh out (second act) the setup of the heist, then proceed (third act) to the heist itself.  The fast pace doesn’t allow for any foundation of story, general concepts or character motivations.  Everything is built on the ‘plug and play’ mantra, making it seem more like a rehashing of the original with a singular connection.  For all the clever antics, strong dialogue and fun interactions, the entails of the elaborations become obvious within its own quips.  Once the heist is over, the film technically ends, but continues into the rarely used fourth act.  This act is only ever seen for two reasons:

  • To bring closure to lose plot threads
  • drag out any character dynamics.

The film is a mixture of both, closing in the aftermath while bringing explanation to the ‘who, what and why’ questions.  There are some unique twists that bring some purpose to certain characters, but only gleams such explanation with general expositional elements.  Once in the epilogue, all the planning comes full circle and brings Ocean’s plan to a close.

The visuals are like the previous entries.  There are amazing locales, quick scene transitions and common scope of everyday urban life. The aesthetics keep everything grounded and believable of the situational heist.  The score is mute at best.

Ocean’s 8 is a spinoff that is just on-par with the rest of the series.  A strong ensemble cast, quirky setups and some unique twist help deliver a fun experience.  If you’re a fan of the series or like heist films, this is one for you.  It is worth seeing at the theaters at a matinee viewing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *