Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tonight's Movie: Ocean's Eight (2018)

It's hard to believe it's been over a decade since our family saw OCEAN'S 13 (2007) while on a vacation trip. OCEAN'S 13, of course, followed OCEAN'S 11 (2001) and OCEAN'S 12 (2004); now, 17 years after OCEAN'S 11, we have OCEAN'S EIGHT (2018), the story of Danny Ocean's sister Debbie.

As the film begins, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) is released from five-plus years in prison. Debbie immediately looks up her old friend Lou (Cate Blanchett) to discuss a genius plan she came up with in prison to rob fabulous gems from the annual Met Gala in New York City.

Debbie plans to arrange for actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) to wear a fabulously expensive necklace which the gang will steal. While Debbie's at it, she'll also frame her old boyfriend Claude (Richard Armitage), who betrayed her and sent her to prison after a job gone wrong.

Debbie and Lou recruit their team, including fence and corporate expert Tammy (Sarah Paulson), hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna), pickpocket Constance (Awkwafina), jeweler Amita (Mindy Kaling), and dress designer Rose (Helena Bonham Carter).

As the film unspools over a well-paced hour and 50 minutes, the pleasure is in watching this finely tuned team work their magic. Some critics have criticized the fact that there's not much dramatic tension in terms of a threat to the plan, but I actually liked that as it made the movie very relaxing. It's more of a comedy or female buddy movie than a suspenseful heist film.

Of course, it's a total fantasy, which is also part of what makes it fun. Among other things, I marveled over the women seemingly having completely clear consciences about helping themselves to other people's money. That doesn't seem to ever cross their minds; this is simply the job they're good at.

Bullock is always enjoyable, and that's true again here as the woman with a plan. Blanchett, as Bullock's friend and top lieutenant, is the blandest of the women, a helpful cog in the machinery but otherwise something of a cipher. Hathaway, on the other hand, is pure genius in a sly comedic role as a celebrated celebrity. Her scenes with Bonham Carter as the fashion designer are particularly amusing.

There are a couple nice cameos from the previous films, but the movie really called for an appearance by Danny (George Clooney) in the final scene, and I was disappointed we didn't get one.

Everyone does a good job and turns out an entertaining film. Great art it's not, but it's a very enjoyable "summer popcorn film," and I was glad I went to see it as I had quite a good time.

OCEAN'S EIGHT was directed by Gary Ross and filmed by Eigil Bryld.

Parental Advisory: OCEAN'S 8 is rated PG-13. It's pretty mild as these ratings go, but there are a couple of racy moments which would be awkward for children to view.

A trailer is here.

Final note: Although many sources refer to the film as OCEAN'S 8, including posters, I give opening credits the last word, and in this case the number in OCEAN'S EIGHT is spelled out.


Blogger Jerry Entract said...

I haven't seen this film, Laura, but we did see the trailer for it last night when we went to see a film with the unusual title "THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY"!!
I honestly don't know if this film will have made it across 'the pond' as it is a very 'English' movie, if you know what I mean. But I strongly recommend it. My wife and I absolutely loved it. Wasn't what we expected at all really. It stars Lily James who you might recognise from "Downton Abbey" and who was just delightful here.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Jerry! I saw a trailer on line for TGLAPPPS and thought it looked interesting. I've enjoyed Lily James in a number of films including CINDERELLA. I'm glad to know you found it worthwhile as our tastes are so often in sync, I will be watching for it here. There's nothing about a U.S. release yet on IMDb that I could find.

Best wishes,

1:51 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

P.S. My daughter researched it and the movie will not be opening in theaters here but will debut on Netflix streaming in August.

Best wishes,

1:59 PM  
Blogger Jerry Entract said...

Love to have your 'take' on it in August, Laura!

2:17 PM  

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