Ocean’s 8

When the contracts of actors expire at the end of a movie franchise, producers are faced with a choice. Do they end the series there and then or do they continue with a brand new cast? In the case of ‘Ocean’s 8’, they simply assemble a new cast to continue the money-making films. Based on the successful ‘Ocean’s 11’ heist movies, ‘Ocean’s 8’ offers up the same slice of comedic escapism seen previously.

The estranged sister of Danny Ocean, Debbie (Sandra Bullock), is inspired by his crooked ways. Seeing how he successfully pulled off various heists, she decides to create her own wayward gang. Amongst recruits are Lou (Cate Blanchett), Daphne (Anne Hathaway) and Nine Ball (Rihanna). Targeting the popular annual MET gala in New York, Debbie and her cohorts try every trick in the book to grab the bounty before the law catches up with them.

‘Ocean’s 8’ is exactly what you’d expect from an ‘Ocean’s’ movie and that becomes both its blessing and curse. Whilst overall its entertaining on a surface level, underneath the façade of flashy dresses, shonky make-up and jewels lies a tired script. Going through the mechanical motions as the gang forms their intricate plans, there’s never a sense of urgency or danger. Although having strong anti-heroes, they are missing a formidable antagonist to play against as ‘Ocean’s 8’ plods from one set piece to another.

For its many faults, ‘Ocean’s 8’ isn’t boring and glides at an agreeable pace. It’s just sad the writers couldn’t come up with something more original and worthy of the talents within. ‘Ocean’s 8’ feels like a discarded script for a previous ‘Ocean’s’ movie with the men simply replaced with women. A franchise re-invention needs more than that. ‘Ocean’s 8’ has a great glossy look and of the cast only Helena Bonham Carter, as one of the gang members, looks like having the most fun.

Audiences who want to watch a brain-free caper movie with no surprises, then ‘Ocean’s 8’ is for them. A lazy effort in spite of its good points, the series needs a re-think if it’s to continue. One enjoys a good heist, especially Hollywood with the allure of grabbing more dollars from viewers just as shady as the aims of ‘Ocean’s 8’ clever ladies.

Rating out of 10: 5

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