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