Ocean's 8

⭐⭐⭐ based on 1 review.

tl;dr: A formulaic film in a formulaic franchise. Still, probably the best attempt since the first outing and the cast are great.


Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

Did we need an all-female addition to this franchise? No, not really. We didn't really need another addition to the Ocean's franchise at all, but hey ho! we got one, and I tell you what: it's a lot better than the last 90%-male entry. I mean, even the second entry revolved around that amazing piece of script writing of having Julia Roberts play herself as a famous actress in an otherwise completely fictional world...

In short, after a fun first entry, I don't really feel like the Ocean's films have been all that worthwhile, so if we're going to get another one it's good they at least tried something a bit different with the formula. Sure, the core story is still about a heist (this time for a diamond necklace at a fashion show, because women I guess?) with a side-serving of revenge (on an ex-boyfriend, because women I guess), orchestrated by the titular Ocean family member and a gang of their larger-than-life, insanely talented criminal pals. Are the women any more fleshed out than the men have been? Not really. Do they provide a generally solid performance, acting all suave and awesome whilst still cracking a few genuinely entertaining laughs? Absolutely, and with far less reliance on dick-measuring jokes.

Overall, then, you have a fairly formulaic film following its own formula fairly well. There are still a few points when the rapid cuts between exposition points and stilted narration leave you a little confused as to how exactly the logic allowed them to get from situation A to situation B, but for the most part the plot makes sense. The final twists land well enough, though I couldn't help feel that they missed a trick with Cate Blanchett's character, who could surely have been given more free reign to come across as a double agent or untrustworthy only to really land that reveal more clearly. I also liked that they gave Anne Hathaway's character the intelligence to spot the con, and have to say she was just a lot of fun throughout, but I remain slightly more dubious about James Corden, who seemed to roll over slightly too easily. Sure, he got one of the diamonds back (perhaps more with the auctions), but ultimately failed to retrieve the whole necklace and practically got an admission out of Ocean herself so why wouldn't he push it. He's not a cop (that point is stressed) so simply closing the case isn't his goal, it's to save the insurance company money, something they can't do unless the whole necklace is found?

Still, everyone involved clearly had a lot of fun, the cast was fantastic and despite feeling like the narrative could have been tightened up there weren't any glaringly annoying issues. It was no all-female Ghostbusters (which I love, to be clear), but it also held its own compared to the franchise as a whole and was enjoyably mindless enough to waste a couple of hours on. I wouldn't rush to the cinema to see a sequel, but I certainly wouldn't mind it if there were one.

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