MOVIE REVIEW: Is Ocean’s 8 worth your time and money?

WITHOUT the same level of vitriolic hostility aimed at it as the all female-reboot of Ghostbusters, Ocean's 8 actually has a shot here.

Maybe it's because the filmmakers have assembled an incredible cast of actors either at the top of their game or still on the climb, there's a sense of excitement in the air about this.

And you know what? It's fun. Dumb fun but fun nonetheless.

In a clear nod to Ocean's 11's opening scene, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), sister of Danny, is paroled after serving five years with promises of turning it around and living a clean, simple life. Ha, as if.

She immediately sets in motion an ambitious heist to steal a $US150 million of worth of Cartier diamonds off the neck of star Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) during the annual Met Gala in New York City.

To do this, she and her partner Lou (Cate Blanchett) have to assemble a ragtag team of crims played by Helena Bonham-Carter, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna and Awkwafina. Danny Ocean may have needed 11 men to rob the Bellagio, but Debbie only needs seven women, eventually eight.

Debbie has been planning this for years from the confines of her prison cell, running it through her head until she had the confidence of getting away with it.


We’re doing this.
We’re doing this.

Ocean's 8's biggest disappointment is that there are loads of plot holes and some twists that beggar belief, including times when you just know they were making bad decisions in a surveillance-obsessed, hi-tech 2018.

There is also a 15-minute post-heist sequence involving James Corden's insurance investigator that feels entirely unnecessary - if the film ended right before he came on the scene, it would be infinitely better.

But the story isn't really why you're here. The reason to see Ocean's 8 is spending time with these women, watching them scheme and pull off a daring and risky heist. There is sparkling chemistry between the whole cast, just watching them having a brilliant time together is so joyful. Because they look like they're having fun, you want to have fun with them.

The film short-changes some of the cast, a little bit Blanchett and especially Kaling whose comedic talent and distinct voice are nowhere to be found.

But on the whole, everyone gets their moment. Bonham-Carter's casting is inspired with her eccentric, sometimes erratic energy adding a zing to the dynamic.

The MVP though is Hathaway, whose bratty, brash and insecure character easily stole the movie - that's the real heist. Hathaway has incredible comedic timing and the slightly caustic tinge she brings to her role is perfect.


“Anne, dear, there’s something on your neck.”
“Anne, dear, there’s something on your neck.”

Ocean's 8 is an unapologetically women's film - which is not to say that men won't have a great time as well. But almost everything takes place in spaces that have traditionally been associated with women - Bergdorfs, the Met Gala, jewellery stores. Even the take is "blingy Liz Taylor" jewels, not cold, hard cash.

At one point, Lou tries to convince Debbie to hire a man for one of the roles and Debbie says, "a him gets noticed, a her gets ignored, for once we want to be ignored".

Well, there is no ignoring these women. The fact that this big budget movie exists, that a studio is throwing that much marketing money behind it, that it wrangled three Oscar winners, is something we're all noticing. If you only they had a better script.

Rating: ★★★

Ocean's 8 is in cinemas from Thursday, June 7.

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