With female-led movies and films with strong female characters becoming more and more prevalent, it is no surprise that one of this weekend’s opening films features just that. In Ocean’s 8, we return to the world of heists created by the Ocean’s trilogy which featured George Clooney as Danny Ocean, brother of newcomer Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) who is finishing up a stint in prison.
It’s been five years, eight months and 12 days since Debbie has been outside of a prison cell and in that time, she’s managed to come with the ultimate plan – the heist of all heists – robbing the most exclusive party in America: the Met Gala. However, Debbie knows that she cannot do this alone. No, she needs a team of experts who are willing to make sure the plan is indeed foolproof and seamless. So, she meets with her previous partner-in-crime, Lou Miller (Cate Blanchett) and the dynamic duo begin their recruiting process.
With a plan already set and Debbie still getting back into the swing of things, she needs more than Lou’s con-game expertise. What Debbie needs is Lou’s penchant for scouting people and of course, Lou works her magic. In no time they’ve built their team from the ground up with fashion designer to the stars, Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), hacker extraordinaire, Nine Ball (Rihanna), jewellery maker, Amita (Mindy Kaling), slight-of-hand pick-pocket, Constance (Awkwafina) and finally, another of Debbie’s former comrades who’s now on the straight and narrow, Tammy (Sarah Paulson).
With the league of extraordinary women assembled, it’s time for Debbie’s plan to be set in motion. All they need now is the $150 million dollar necklace, the Toussaint, from luxury jewellery house, Cartier. The only trouble is that the stunning piece will be around the neck of superstar Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway). The women have to find a way to get the necklace from Kluger without detection and it makes for a very fun-filled heist. You will just have to see the film in order to see the shenanigans the team gets up to and I promise, it will be worth it.
The cast of Ocean’s 8 is charismatic and really just effortlessly cool. Each and every actress brings their own element to their respective characters to make them their own and it is clear that everyone had fun. Bullock is utterly believable as the former thief and con-woman, Debbie Ocean. Her swagger is similar to that of her brother, Danny, and whilst you can see the similarities, it’s clear that Debbie will not be hidden in her brother’s shadow. She is very much her own woman. With an ensemble cast as big as this one, it’s hard to talk about all of the characters without giving anything away. I will divulge that each and every character is given their moment to shine, their best abilities showcased for the audience. Bullock, Blanchett, Rihanna, Awkwafina, Kaling, Hathaway and Paulson all do such great jobs, it would be hard to choose a favourite character if I was asked.
While the film is an entertaining one, there is a subplot with Debbie’s character that felt unnecessary. While Bullock does pull it off, it was an element that slightly cheapened the character in my opinion and I truly wonder if it would have been different had there been a female director and only female screenwriters for the movie. That being said, they made it work, despite the fact that it fell into certain tropes about women that could have been avoided. Despite that small flub, the film was still a fun one that will make you laugh and have you leaving the theater feeling like you just stole something valuable and got away with it.
Directed by Gary Ross, Ocean’s 8 hits theaters this Friday, be sure to check it out!