Too much scam­ming, not enough style

GET THE FULL RE­VIEWS AT THES­TAR.COM/MOVIES Too bad Ocean’s 8 didn’t steal more of Ocean’s 11 di­rec­tor Steven Soder­bergh’s swag­ger

StarMetro Vancouver - - DAILY LIFE - Peter Howell

Ocean’s 8 boasts a charis­matic all-fe­male cast led by San­dra Bul­lock and Cate Blanchett, but it’s just like all-male heist pic­tures when it comes to the fea­si­bil­ity of its plot.

Which is to say it’s less Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble and more Ca­per: Ridicu­lous, with con­trivance piled upon co­in­ci­dence in its elab­o­rate di­a­mond-theft nar­ra­tive to the point where even the most gen­er­ous viewer may lose patience. Blame ad­vanc­ing tech­nol­ogy for di­min­ish­ing crim­i­nal cred­i­bil­ity. Frank Si­na­tra didn’t have to worry about com­put­er­ized vault locks and high-def­i­ni­tion sur­veil­lance cam­eras when he played mas­ter con­man Danny Ocean in the orig­i­nal Ocean’s 11 in 1960. And the dig­i­tal age was still in its in­fancy in 2001 when Ge­orge Clooney as­sumed the role for a re­make that turned into an Ocean’s tril­ogy, each film directed by Steven Soder­bergh.

Danny Ocean’s men also had a real sense of style to their scam­ming, some­thing that his like-minded sis­ter Deb­bie Ocean (Bul­lock) and her team some­what lack. It’s easy to roll with plot inani­ties when the heis­ters are cool enough to make you not want to sweat the de­tails.

Ocean’s 8 is down­right dowdy about its dup­ing, which is sur­pris­ing con­sid­er­ing the heist is about steal­ing a Cartier di­a­mond neck­lace worth $150 mil­lion and re­plac­ing it with a zir­co­nium copy worth con­sid­er­ably less. And the theft is hap­pen­ing not in­side the Ve­gas casi­nos of Ocean’s past, but rather at New York’s an­nual Met Gala, which we’re re­minded is the most stylish and high­fa­lutin’ af­fair in Amer­ica.

What makes Ocean’s 8 worth a look in spite of its de­fi­cien­cies is its cast. Why their chem­istry is not to be missed at thes­tar.com/movies

BARRY WETCHER/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

From left, San­dra Bul­lock, Sarah Paul­son, Ri­hanna, Cate Blanchett and Awk­wa­fina plan a heist in Ocean's 8, open­ing this week­end.

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