Ocean’s 8

by | Jul 14, 2018 | 0 comments

A By-the-Numbers Remake/Sequel Who’s Leads Manage to Infuse Some Spark Into a Safe Script

Any victory for women in Hollywood is a welcome and rare sign given the abusive patriarchy that is present there (and everywhere). It’s a shame that the opportunities for more diverse roles for women are only in remakes such as the 2016 Ghostbusters or this year’s Ocean’s 8. It seems that combining female protagonists with an original story is too risky for today’s movie studios. 

Ocean’s 8 is a spinoff of the Steven Soderbergh’s heist trilogy starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt. In order to connect this female-led film with the trilogy, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) is introduced to us as Danny Ocean’s (George Clooney) sister. Her Brad Pitt counterpart is none other than Cate Blanchett; the rest of the heist crew include Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham-Carter, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson, and Awkwafina. The heist in question involves stealing a diamond necklace from actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) at the Met Gala in New York.

The script makes a smart choice by not pointing out too blatantly at the fact that the main cast is all female; it lends the film the aspect of normalization that Hollywood desperately needs with these kinds of films. It’s very hard to write a heist film as the audience is expecting wit and a twist at the end; Soderbergh was very apt at producing this formula with his most recent heist flick having been released only last year (Logan Lucky) and delivering on all fronts. Director and writer Gary Ross had a lot to live up to and he manages to produce a by-the-numbers heist flick that does enough to leave the audience satisfied. Ross does suffer from having a bit of a soft hand as a director and this can particularly be seen with some of the weaker performers in the cast including Kaling and Rihanna who seem lost in many scenes regarding the intensity of their acting. However, having the lesser-experienced actresses have less of a role in the film also softens their choppy acting. The lead roles, having gone to the likes of Bullock, Blanchett, and Hathaway, mean that Ross’ directing mishaps are alleviated; the actresses manage to twist the script into something funnier and wittier than it really is.

It’s still incredibly tragic that for a female-led film to simply be “ok” these days is a complete triumph. Such is the case with Oceans 8, the idea of having a female cast by Warner Brothers seems to have been too big a risk to allow for any other creative or filmmaking experiments, the entire film is played safe in those respects. In the end, it’s a good time; don’t come in expecting Soderbergh, but be glad this film exists.








What is your favorite Ocean’s movie? Let me know in the comments section.

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