Sunday, 10 June 2018

IN THEATRES: Ocean's 8

Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) has spent the last five years and change in jail coming up with the perfect heist. Once released, she puts her plan into action. First, she needs a team...

I saw this movie a couple of days ago and I have really had a hard time trying to come up with anything to write about.

This movie is fine. There is nothing about it that sticks out as especially memorable or bad. It has a good cast in cookie-cutter roles, with a scene or moment to give them some personality based on their respective places on the call sheet:

Bullock is the boss with the plan; Cate Blanchett is the second-in-command (although if there is anything else that's interesting about the character it's not in this movie); Helena Bonham Carter is the quirky one; Rihanna is the hacker; Awkwafina is the pick pocket; Mindy Kaling is the fence for the merchandise; Sarah Paulson is the... other one.  

As far as standouts, Bonham Carter has some nice little moments as a quirky designer who is roped into the scheme, and Ann Hathaway is great as the narcissistic socialite that the team needs to facilitate their caper. Following an eye-catching supporting part in last year's Valerian and the Cavalcade of Inanities, Rihanna adds another neat little part as the mysterious hacker who is obsessed with her own privacy. Ala wrestler-turned-thespian Dave Bautista, she has avoided jumping into lead roles, instead taking small but memorable parts that do not require a lot of dramatic heavy lifting. This may sound like an insult but she fits in with the veteran ensemble, which is pretty good for a relative newcomer.

I know this sounds silly, but I am having a really hard time picking out who these people were. Usually with these kinds of movies, either it is more about the characters than the heist or the other way around. With this movie, both heist and characters are just functional - neither part stands out.

This movie's aggressive okay-ness is a bit of a disappointment considering the pedigree and the fact that it is a part of the Ocean's franchise. While the latter movies have their admirers, Ocean's 11 remains a terrific example of the kind of star ensemble caper that this movie is tapping into.

Maybe it is the lack of a Steven Soderbergh? Gary Ross is a solid filmmaker, but Ocean's 8 lacks a certain panache, a certain degree of sophistication and wit to really make it sing. The movie feels like ingredients for a great meal that has not been prepared yet.

Go take your mum. She'll like it.

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