Ocean’s Eight (dir. Ross )

Image: Sandra Bullock, Helena Bonham Carter, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, and Awkwafina. © Photograph by Bary Wetcher. Property of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. [Source: IMDB]


It started with the all-female reboot of Ghostbusters and now comes the all-female Oceans. But while fan hysteria kicked up around the fem Ghostbusters, Ocean’s Eight got by quite quietly. In this Debbie Ocean gathers an all-female crew to pull off yet another seemingly impossible heist for wealth, pride and a middle finger to her doubting brother.

Director: Gary Ross. Starring: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina [12A]

I said it when I first watched the trailer and I’ll repeat it now. This was not as half-baked as the Fem-Ghostbusters. Frankly, it shows across the board, the film knew what it was, what it was emulating, what it was trying to do and certainly was not trying to push an agenda. Perhaps that is why the film got by fairly unscathed by fan hysteria and gently but firmly landed in cinemas for a light, fun and hassle-free viewing experience.

Straight away you get the sense that this is just natural, whereas one might think the forced casting and rebooting of Ghostbusters but with all women this time pushes an agenda not properly planned out. An all-female Oceans, on the other hand, seems like something that should have been done long before now, why have we waited all this time to get some stone cold female acting powerhouses on-screen together having some fun in pulling off a heist. That’s what the Clooney trilogy was and it’s clearly the idea behind this one also – the film is more fun and better for it.

While it is evident that the cast is having a ball and some of the casting doesn’t scream acting sensation – the film itself drops the ball in numerous areas. For a light drama such as this, expecting comedy is just a given… I’m not sure if this film had any. If it did it certainly did not tickle any funny bones while I was watching. The film lacking in the light-hearted charisma of its premise without the comedy to produce as much of a good time for the audience as I imagine the cast is having. I’m not sure if anyone was expecting some kind of masterpiece, all cinema goers wanted was something fun with a little flair of drama, in seeing these women pull off a big heist.

For the most part that was achieved, but the significant lack of lighthearted playfulness in tone and comedy, and the staggeringly simple heist makes for a film that doesn’t pack any punch. Rather like a glass of water, it’s good but what you really desire is something with more flavour.

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