I didn’t think I had any intention of seeing the latest iteration of the Ocean’s series but clearly that didn’t pan out as I saw a matinee recently. This time, the screen is graced with a star-studded cast of ladies attempting to pull off a heist in classic Ocean’s form. I have to say I like most of the cast but the actual movie itself is a different story.
To quickly summarize the latest movie, watch Ocean’s Eleven. This lady version doesn’t veer too far from that when all is said and done. Debbie Ocean gets out of prison (not unlike her brother Danny in his film) and immediately falls back into the familiar criminal ways. Where it was a casino with Ocean’s Eleven, this time a diamond necklace is going to be stolen. A large portion of both movies see the crew needing to be assembled, the logistics laid out, and then eventually the plan would be executed. Adding in a little intrigue and plot twisting is pretty standard along the way as well but neither really pans out this time.
Danny is presumed dead the same year the film takes place. Strangely, not a lot of time was devoted to it, and I feel there should have been more background about Debbie missing her brother’s death, funeral, etc., what with her being incarcerated. Instead, its glossed over and we get to the heist rather speedily. It's revealed that motivation for the heist boils down to petty revenge against the guy that got Debbie thrown in jail. There’s some money to be made off the sale of a hundred and fifty million dollar Cartier necklace but that seems to be a secondary motivation for her. I don’t feel like it would be fair to ruin all of the movie, but I will say I figured out all the twists from the preview I’d seen and every plot point I’d suspected came to fruition.
Instead of spoiling the entire film, I’d rather make mention of the things that caused me issue. I think the big one for me was how far the movie went to solidify that it was an all-female cast. One big plot point was how the crew is all women because women don’t get noticed where men do. When the suspects are pointed out, they are all in fact men. Despite a master criminal recently released from prison being in attendance, she’s treated as an aid to the investigation rather than a suspect. The woman wearing the necklace when it disappears somehow doesn’t get suspected either, which is questionable at best. The diamond forger lady doubling as a dishwasher wasn’t accounted for despite all the other kitchen staff being searched vigorously before being evacuated. It was a questionable plot point that I don’t feel panned out at all. Another big point of contention was how little backstory was given to each character. We learn that Debbie is bisexual as she dated both the guy that had framed her and got her into jail, but also dated (maybe currently dates as the film unfolds?) one of the members of the heist crew. It didn’t add anything to the movie and as such I don’t know why it even needed to be mentioned. As the heist required little sexuality and instead knowledge, skill, and planning, it seems curious that the sexuality of any characters mattered. I suppose needing specifically hit target demographics is important enough. Anyways, I think the biggest point of contention for me is one that exists with a lot of these movies. I found that everything was sealed up too nicely. The insurance fraud investigator is apparently a family friend of the Ocean’s and would prefer to help frame the guy that framed Debbie instead of doing his job. The one person that’s flighty the entire movie but smart enough to figure out the entire heist plan on her own was conveniently invited to join the heist team. I guess I just felt like the audience was to believe everyone was so flawless that things could go off without a hitch and literally every angle was covered. Didn’t make for much thrill or suspense to me.
I like giving movies the benefit of the doubt. It takes a lot for me to genuinely dislike a movie as my reviews clearly show. Unfortunately, Ocean’s Eight will make that small list. There was very little that I found endearing and I ended up disappointed with the half-assed remake that really missed its mark. The cool factor of Ocean’s Eleven wasn’t there. The intrigue of a heist film was missing. I genuinely found it hard to like any of the characters. Overall, I’d say it might be prudent to skip the film but that’s only my opinion. It might be exactly what the cinema doctor ordered for some folks and that’s cool too. See it or don’t but at least we know where I stand on it.