Having missed Oceans 1 -7 we now have Ocean’s 8 another heist film this time played with an all female cast as a counterpart to the all male Oceans 11 -13. The connection here is Debbie Ocean, sister to the apparently now deceased Danny Ocean. Our first sight of Debbie is at a parole review board where, what we first thought was either Michael Jackson or that woman who crawls out of the well in ‘The Ring’, actually turns out to be Sandra Bullock who pleads her case and is released.
Scrubbed up to Hollywood glam standards there’s a hugely entertaining sequence where she carries out a number of minor scams landing herself a selection of cosmetics for free, a 5 star hotel room and a load of new clothes in a sequence which is sure to inspire some numb nut to copy with far less success. Having reunited up with Cate Blanchett (Thor : Ragnarok) who has the best stylist amongst the cast it’s then a case of getting the gang back together with their first recruit being Helena Bonham Carter (Alice through the Looking Glass) as Rose Weil, an out of fashion, fashion designer. The gang’s plan is to steal a $150m Cartier diamond necklace from the neck of some ghastly actress / socialite played brilliantly by Anne Hathaway who attends the New York Met ball. Their problem is that Cartier have never let the necklace out of their vaults in decades and that security is higher than Prince on painkillers.
To effect the plan they enroll a number of other names including pop poppet Rihanna who plays a pot smoking IT expert called 9 Ball presumably because that’s the number of male executive testicles she had to forcibly twist to get the role. Whilst the other roles are filled by others we’ve never heard of including a rapper called Awkwafina who we originally thought was a kitchen cleaning fluid but here plays a skateboarding pickpocket and in fairness is pretty good and we would have liked to see more of her. The problem with films with large casts is that inevitably not everyone gets a fair share of screen time and even when the heist goes on Blanchett all but disappears. But Ocean’s 8 is an enjoyable romp with the all female gang (and in the name of political correctness, ethnically diverse) cast all having a whale of a time until that whale actually turns up in the form of mirth free man mountain James Cordon as a fraud investigator in a role he’s too young to play convincingly. The film makers have also roped in a whole load of real life fashionistas including the inevitable (Anna Wintour – though frankly Warwick Davis in sunglasses and a brown bob wig could pass as her), the unrecognizable (Tommy Hilfiger)and the curious (John McEnroe).
We re-watched Oceans 13 recently with its impenetrable script and sat there like Amanda Holden trying to work out how to play ‘Deal or No Deal’ but Ocean’s 8 plot, though utterly implausible is easy enough to follow and the film is snappy and whizzes along to a jaunty jazz sound track. There are plot holes and implausible moments aplenty with pivotal moments happening far too easily. Equally there’s no pratfalls in their plan where it goes awry and they have to get it back on track and so any tension is absent as they go about the theft.
In a time of #MeToo and equal parts for women Ocean’s 8 is a step in the right direction with its screenplay co-written by Olivia Milch (who’s written the about to go into production ‘Barbie’ film which seems to be a retrospective step) but nevertheless leaves itself open to criticism with the film being, albeit competently, directed by a man, the Oscar nominated Gary Ross. With the World Cup now started Ocean’s 8 is ideally suited for anyone wanting to get away from men and their balls.
Here’s the trailer…….