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Ocean’s 8: An entertaining all-girls heist movie that doesn’t quite live up to the hype

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 22 June 2018, 19:03 IST
(Film poster)

It doesn’t deviate from the franchise and that is its greatest disservice. Ocean’s 8, the fourth film in the franchise starts in a familiar territory. An Ocean family member, Debbie Ocean (played by Sandra Bullock) is in prison. Ocean is explaining to the audience (off-camera) as to why she should be let off from prison.

The moment she’s out, her 5 years of planning starts swinging into motion and her girl-gang starts swelling in numbers. It’s a fun enough spin-off that has its heart set on the Met Gala.

Ocean’s partner Lou (Cate Blanchett also seen in previous movies) is a has-been. There is Rose Weil (played by Helena Bonham Carter), a fashion designer who has been evading taxes for years), Amita (Mindy Kaling), a jewellery maker, a stoner-hacker who goes by Nine Ball (Rihanna), a pickpocketing champion Constance (Awkwafina) and suburban mom (Sarah Paulson). The plan is simple. They will steal a $150 million Cartier Necklace from Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway), a celebrity attending the Met gala. They will pin the blame on Debbie’s ex-boyfriend, the one who put her in jail in the first place.

Ocean’s 8 doesn’t deviate from its predecessors because little goes wrong in the grand scheme of things. Things just move smoothly, almost clockwork like. Some may say that this efficiency is what is needed to pull of a heist, but some tug and pull would have made the whole thing a lot more tense and exciting for the viewers.

Another thing that doesn’t work, just like in the last Ocean’s movie is the fact that the super-sized cast works only as individuals and not as a team. What would have done the movie justice would have been to give the excellent supporting cast more.

Ultimately, what robs the franchise of its freshness - an all-girls cast - is the familiarity. We’ve seen this story before, time and time again. The cast does its best to infuse humour and pace but it does little to pick up the movie.

What the cast succeeds as, despite the leading ladies flaws, is entertain the crowd. The audience I saw the movie with laughed and clapped at a great rate than they did during Salman Khan’s Race 3.

One can compare Ocean’s 8 to the Ghostbusters remake. Ocean’s 8 neither reinvents the wheel but also doesn’t try to dishonour it. It just aims to entertain, and entertain it does very well.

The twist not surprising. It’s predictable. In the end, Ocean’s 8 is popcorn-worthy movie for the duration of its 111 minutes. It’s almost entirely forgettable many hours later. If the twist was surprising and came out of nowhere, the film would have been elevated to the praise it deserves.

At the moment, it is only scoring brownie points. Well, eight of them.

Should you watch it?

Ultimately, the answer is yes. The movie is worth its weight in its 111 minutes of run time with a fantastic supporting cast that is only let down by its 61-year-old male director. It’s a rollercoaster of a ride through its winding heist but not a movie you’d be taking home and thinking about for hours on end.

It’s an entertainer and nothing more. Like Ghostbusters, it’s a worthy one-time watch at the cinemas.

Rating: 3/5

First published: 22 June 2018, 19:03 IST
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a correspondent at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.