Ocean's Eight

This film ain't like the Steven Soderbergh/Clooney and Pitt franchise and it was not because of the ladies, but rather the execution. It lacked the fun - the joie de vivre - and the chemistry of the boys and the kinetic energy and mischievous style of Soderbergh and co. It seemed that the cast of this film was picked more for their diversity - white, black, asian, lesbian, british, american, australian - rather than their ability to be cohesive as an unit. Writer/Directory Gary Ross and co-writer Olivia Milch did a competent job but the heist lacked danger or even the risk of failure, and the eventual outcome was an exercise in motion rather than a stylish-executed caper.

Of all the stars, Anne Hatheway gets the biggest laughs followed by the brilliantly cookie Helena Bonham Cutter. Cate Blanchett looked effortlessly cool and chic but essentially was just phoning it in As for the ostensible lead actress Sandra Bullock, she oozed charm but lacked the affable spontaneity that made her so funny in The Proposal and Miss Congeniality. Furthermore, Bullock and Blanchett had so little chemistry to propel the narrative. They definitely were no Clooney and Pitt.

As for the others, they barely had enough screen time to register as proper characters beyond their necessary skill sets. A pity Richard Armitage was no Julia Roberts.

The film ran just under 2 hours and it was just about right. The plot moved along steadily, from point A to B to C to D...with no distractions and no deviations. Some would applaud it for its efficiency whereas others may deride it for its simple mundaneness. Nevertheless, the story does progressed to its eventual conclusion although the final act may have taken longer than necessary.

With regards to a potential sequel, Ocean's Eight like the other female-led franchise starter Ghostbusters, may be better off if a creative revamp is put in place before production starts. Hollywood still has a long way to figure out how to make female-centric comedies.


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