Benjamin Frohman ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
In a film cycle dominated by men, it is not only refreshing but critical to have films where women dominate the screen and are the center of the story. Unlike the all-female Ghostbusters reboot, which received hate for simply existing, Ocean’s 8 sidesteps the reboot approach by being a spinoff that has no effect on the last films, and rather eloquently builds off the universe set up by the first three. Ocean’s 8 takes the previous series shakes it up a bit and womanizes the franchise.
Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), a newly released convict, has spent her time developing a master plan to rob the Met Gala. Debbie happens to be the sister of famed con man Frank Ocean (George Clooney), who was the focus of Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen. Debbie and Frank share similarities in their leadership roles, charm, and knack for master plans. Frank is supposedly deceased in this film, but the movie leaves it open for more installments and room for tying up loose ends, so to speak. Debbie, though she said she would lead a simple life, instead gets back into her old ways of fraud and theft. Debbie contacts her friend Lou (Cate Blanchett), a motorbike riding bar owner, who agrees to help Debbie on her calculated plan.
Debbie and Lou assemble a team to pull off the heist. The team includes Sarah Paulson as Tammy, a house mom who is more than meets the eye, Rihanna as Nine Ball, an off the wall hacker, Mindy Kaling as Amita, a talented jeweler, Helena Bonham Carter as Rose, a down on her luck fashion designer, and Awkwafina as Constance, a pick-pocket. They each have distinct and useful skills and are able to steal the scenes they are in quite literally. Each of these women adds their own finesse, and flair which is vital to the plot and action.
The team is trying to steal a famous Cartier $150 million diamond necklace, off the neck of Anne Hathaway’s Daphne Kluger, a seemingly rich self-absorbed celebrity, who will be sporting it at the Met Gala. The plot thickens when an insurance investigator played by James Corden enters the picture, an ex-lover mixed in, and some snags in the fabric of the mission begin to happen.
The film delivers, and even if it’s not the best or most intricate heist movie ever, as the stakes could be much higher. However, the film keeps one’s attention and never lets up. The supporting stars could also have gotten more screen time, but they serve their purpose and build up the story even so. If anything, a bit of improvement or additions could be made for the logistics of the heists and nerve-inducing moments, but the heist itself was fun and enjoyable to watch.
Ocean’s 8 is cut from the same cloth of the previous entries but with new material, which complements the women who make up this film. This movie aces the Bechdel test, it demonstrates how a franchise can live on while also passing the baton to others, as well as it is able to add its own sprinkle of pizazz and glamour. The film exudes female empowerment and complex women characters hungry for a prize. The plot is furthered by twists, nail-biting executions, and cunning wit. There are also fun cameos and the film serves as a bountiful platter to what looks like a fresh and fun trilogy much like the previous ones. Ocean’s 8 is sure to keep audiences on the edge of their seat, as these women outthink and outperform everyone around them.
Overall Grade: B
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