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Ocean’s 8: Sandra Bullock Stars in Female-Lead Film

This hefty $70 million-dollar picture gets saved by a cast that lives up to the hype.

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By Brennan Dubé | @Brennan_Dube71R

So, it has been eleven years since the release of the last ‘Ocean’s’ film… and filmmaker Gary Ross has in front of him an all-star cast and a $70 million-dollar budget to bring us his twist take on the ‘Ocean’s’ series. This all-female cast showcases the likes of Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Awkwafina and Sarah Paulson. Here is my review of ‘Ocean’s 8.’

‘Ocean’s 8’ opens with Sandra Bullock’s character, ‘Debbie Ocean’ getting out of prison after spending the last five or so years behind bars, and as following the other ‘Ocean’s’ films, she has a plan. From here we see the plan get created and the crew get recruited. Going into this movie I was hoping to see some good build up towards the heist with some great interactions considering the star-studded cast involved.

I must say I was not disappointed by what I saw as the build up sequences and recruitment of these different individuals to join Bullocks’ characters heist plan were quite enjoyable. The cast really knocked this one out of the park. Bullock offers a great performance that really enhances a mediocre dialogue and direction job all around. I also quite liked Helena Bonham Carter, who plays an Irish fashion designer. I found she did a great job in this film and offered some of the best entertainment throughout. Anne Hathaway as always did a stellar job in her role and really fit the part in ‘Ocean’s 8.’

Mindy Kaling plays her typical role that she seems to have been accustomed to ever since the hit show ‘The Office’ and Rihanna does an okay job as well. Other leads in this film, Sarah Paulson and Cate Blanchett do their part and also deliver good performances. Awkwafina in this film did not feel quite right. Her character was interesting but I do not believe it was executed well, coming off as annoying. She was there mainly for comedic relief but in reality, we got some unneeded useless jokes and unnecessary character interactions.

Director Gary Ross had his ass saved in this film. There were times where I almost wanted the group to get caught in their heist just so we could see something a little more interesting and risky happen. Ross managed to lay together a movie that felt so dry and was absolutely spiced up by its incredible cast.

Sure, the group runs in to some bumps here and there but there is almost no friction within the group that leads us to actually feel the level of intensity rise. There were times where I sat back and truly did wish that one of the characters would question the plan or even have a strong disagreement with how they went about things.

Instead, Ross and the writers had them play it safe, keeping everyone for the most part on the same page in this film, which is a drag. Another negative of ‘Ocean’s 8’ is that it lacked a good laugh. I never found myself laughing at this movie or really appreciating a well-executed joke that was told or comedic sequences that was played out. There were some chuckles here and there but ‘Ocean’s 8’ would benefit from some more light-hearted comedy to go along with its light-hearted heist film.

This movie had some shots and different angles taken that looked absolutely stunning. The beginning scenes showing scenery in the city all looked great and that is a plus to the photo direction and cinematographers that worked on this movie. Another positive in my mind is that this was not a political film. Coming into this I knew it was an all-female lead film and that is the main purpose of this movie. I was interested to see if they played it off as a political film and went in on social issues in society today, but they did not. I found this to be a bonus because it would have been a distraction to the storyline and to the great performances being given by the actresses on screen.

Despite enjoying the build-up very much, I felt underwhelmed by the end of this film. The heist was for the most part fun to watch but the aftermath and the act following the heist felt rushed as a viewer. They would have benefited from sacrificing bits from the beginning and middle and putting more into the heist aftermath. Doing this would have made ‘Ocean’s 8’ a potentially more layered movie, missed opportunity.

The big plus: The excitement of this movie is seeing all the super star actresses own this film entirely. Go… sit back and enjoy some of this generations top talents!

Where it lacks:‘Ocean’s 8’ may feel underwhelming and just not as fun as it should be at times.

Score: 71/100

In conclusion, ‘Ocean’s 8’ was a good time at the movies. Director Gary Ross and his mediocre storytelling is saved and enhanced positively by some incredible jobs mainly from the likes of Bullock, Carter and Hathaway. The interaction and recruitment is a good lead up and fun watch going into the much-anticipated heist sequence. Although in the end I did feel slightly underwhelmed at times, ‘Ocean’s 8’ is a good time.

Box Office Forecast:

Watch for the continual plummet of the box office bomb ‘Solo’ as it enters its third weekend. Warner Bros. Pictures ‘Ocean’s 8’ should take the box office and is expected to gross over $35 million this weekend. A24 studio’s much anticipated horror ‘Hereditary’ hits theatres this weekend and is surely set to break records for the small-scale studio.

Upcoming Releases:

June 13: SuperFly

June 15: Incredibles 2, Tag

June 22: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom


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