Starring: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway
Directed by: Gary Ross
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1 hour 50 mins
We are introduced to Debbie Ocean (Bullock) as she is being released from prison, having done five years for a crime she claims she didn’t commit (she was set up). Sadly, we soon learn that Debbie was NOT rehabilitated, as she cons her way into everything from cosmetics to a swanky hotel room. She also takes the time to stop at her brother Danny’s grave, letting the audience know in the first 10 minutes not to look for that assumed George Clooney cameo. As soon as she’s settled she begins putting into place a plan that she has been perfecting for three years. And she only needs seven people to help her.
Slow and plodding at the beginning, with a mostly satisfying conclusion, “Ocean’s 8” boasts an amazing cast of women with their own amazing list of accomplishments, Between the eight members of the “gang” are four Oscars, two Emmys, eight Grammys, six Golden Globes and five BAFTAs. Sadly none of them brought them to work with them, as the plot progresses so slowly that seeing one of the ladies flash their trophies might have added some excitement to the proceedings.
In a nutshell, Debbie has decided to steal a $150 million necklace at the annual Met Gala. She then rounds up a smorgasbord of like-minded associates…everyone from Rhianna’s surveillance expert to Mandy Kaling’s diamond expert. The actresses are fine in their roles, but, despite attempts to give them some kind of personality, they’re all very similar in delivery and demeanor. Which makes this film pale against Clooney’s “Ocean” trilogy. Heck, even the great 60s version with Frank Sinatra was more fun. The difference is that those films had set characters that did not act the same. This film could have used the comedy duo of Casey Affleck and Scott Caan or the blustery antics of Bernie Mac. Gary Ross is a fine director who knows how to keep the action moving, but here his script has conspired against him.