Lack of smarts hinders all-girl heist remake
Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven remake is a hard movie to live up to.
But it is undeniable that even the near-perfect Eleven was missing something pretty major: women.
You know, besides Julia Roberts, that blackjack dealer and the one exotic dancer. So why not, 17 years later, fix that egregious oversight ?
Sandra Bullock anchors the cast as Debbie Ocean, the never-beforementioned sister of George Clooney’s Danny Ocean, who has taken up the family business and prefers to work without “hims.”
“Hers,” she later explains, can go unnoticed.
Debbie’s plan is to steal a $150 million diamond necklace. She and her team have to first infiltrate the orbit of a vapid celeb, Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway), and convince her to wear said necklace to the Met Gala, where they’ll steal it and divide the earnings accordingly.
If you’ve seen Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven, you’ve basically seen Ocean’s 8 too. Director and co-writer Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) follows familiar story beats.
There was a danger to Ocean’s Eleven and a thrill in seeing that team succeed. Here, none of the women seem to have any fallibility and you never find yourself doubting whether or not they can pull it off. Perhaps there is something subversive to the idea that all Debbie has to do is social shame two security guys from entering a women’s rest room, but we’re there for something more elaborate too.
That’s kind of the overall problem. It’s all predicated on the fact that women are often underestimated.
But it’s also underestimated the audience who still should be entitled to a smart, fun heist, no matter who is pulling it off.
Cate Blanchett as Lou, Helena Bonham Carter as Rose and Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean in a scene from Ocean’s 8.