Three to see

WATCH AT HOME San­dra Bul­lock’s venge­ful parolee recruits crew for a dar­ing crime in this re­fresh­ingly fe­male take on the tra­di­tion­ally male-dom­i­nated heist movie

Uxbridge Gazette - - Film Reviews -

CRIME pays hand­somely in a con­vo­luted and ef­fer­ves­cent ca­per, which con­tin­ues the mis­ad­ven­tures of the larce­nous Ocean fam­ily from Steven Soder­bergh’s tril­ogy. It has been more than a decade since the dar­ing Las Ve­gas casino heist of Ocean’s 13 and the world has changed be­yond recog­ni­tion.

Di­rec­tor Gary Ross’s stylish pic­ture ditches Ge­orge Clooney, Brad Pitt and their im­pec­ca­bly tai­lored broth­ers in arms for an all-fe­male lead cast spear­headed by Os­car-win­ners San­dra Bul­lock and Cate Blanchett.

They plot an am­bi­tious rob­bery in plain sight that sub­tly ac­knowl­edges seis­mic shifts in gen­der pol­i­tics by re­fus­ing to hire a male ac­com­plice and strain the bonds of sis­terly sol­i­dar­ity.

“A him gets no­ticed, a her gets ig­nored Missed it at the cin­ema or on TV? We round up the best stream­ing and DVD re­leases of the week and for once we want to be ig­nored,” as­serts Bul­lock’s crim­i­nal mas­ter­mind.

The loosely coiled plot, co-writ­ten by Olivia Milch, re­quires sim­i­lar sus­pen­sions of dis­be­lief to pre­vi­ous chap­ters but there’s a loopy logic to each nar­ra­tive twist and our en­joy­ment stems from watch­ing the pieces of an elab­o­rate puz­zle fall into place, of­ten with sec­onds to spare.

El­liot Gould and con­tor­tion­ist Shaobo Qin briefly reprise roles as mem­bers of the old guard, but Ocean’s 8 stands tall and proud on its own stiletto-clad feet with­out re­peat­edly flirt­ing with the past.

Danny Ocean’s younger sis­ter Deb­bie (Bul­lock) emerges from a five-year stint at Ni­chols Women’s Prison with 45 ■ dol­lars in her pocket and re­venge on her mind.

Her tar­get is for­mer lover Claude Becker (Richard Ar­mitage), an art gallery owner who set her up for fraud and tes­ti­fied against her to se­cure Deb­bie’s con­vic­tion.

Her cun­ning plan is to frame Becker for the theft of “blingy, Liz Tay­lor jew­els” worth 150 mil­lion US dol­lars, which are set in a neck­lace that self-ab­sorbed ac­tress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hath­away) is due to wear to the an­nual Met Gala fundraiser.

The gems will be closely mon­i­tored dur­ing the gl­itzy event by two highly trained guards, Guillermo (Migs Govea) and Yuri (James Biberi), and the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Mu­seum of Art’s sup­pos­edly im­pen­e­tra­ble se­cu­rity sys­tem.

To achieve the im­pos­si­ble, Deb­bie as­sem­bles a crack crew from the wrong side of the law in­clud­ing best friend Lou (Blanchett), fence Tammy (Sarah Paul­son), jew­eller Amita (Mindy Kal­ing), pick­pocket Con­stance (Awk­wa­fina), hacker Nine Ball (Ri­hanna) and Irish fash­ion de­signer Rose Weil (He­lena Bon­ham Carter).

Ocean’s 8 goes down smoothly and sweetly as a freshly shaken mar­tini, set to a groovy score by Daniel Pem­ber­ton.

Bul­lock doesn’t need to flex her comic mus­cles, al­low­ing Bon­ham Carter’s ec­cen­tric­ity and Hath­away’s diva to pick­pocket big laughs along­side James Cor­den as a wily in­sur­ance fraud in­ves­ti­ga­tor, who has a long his­tory with the Ocean fam­ily.

Ross’s di­rec­tion doesn’t steal the lime­light from an en­gag­ing cast, who are clearly en­joy­ing them­selves and their ge­nial­ity is in­fec­tious.

GAME NIGHT (15)

MAX (Ja­son Bateman) and his wife An­nie (Rachel McA­dams) host game nights for friends in­clud­ing mar­ried cou­ple Kevin (Lamorne Mor­ris) and Michelle (Kylie Bun­bury) and dim pal Ryan (Billy Mag­nussen). When Max’s flashy brother Brooks (Kyle Chan­dler, pic­tured with McA­dams) of­fers to host, guests are told one amongst them will be taken as part of an elab­o­rate game. But when two men snatch Brooks, the gang re­alise the kid­nap­ping may be real. ■ Avail­able to stream or down­load from June 25 or to buy from July 2 on DVD.

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