2 (out of 4)
If Steven Soderbergh never took the Ocean's trilogy past the point of breezy diversion, why should Gary Ross’ imitation of the brand improve this all-female spinoff?
Not nearly as convoluted as Twelve but not anywhere near as fun as Eleven and Thirteen, Ocean's Eight boasts an excellent cast but the cogs of the film's script never mesh. The characters are underwritten, the plot is contrived even as the story remains painfully simple and, most disappointingly, the film fails as a serving of summer escapism. A knockoff of David Holmes' silk smooth score and a few split screens doesn't compensate.
Sandra Bullock does a fine job as Sister Ocean, who just like Clooney's Danny before her is after a big score following extended incarceration. Some ladies in her heist squad are cool cats – Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter play roughly believable accomplices, but the likes of Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, and Awkwafina are resorted to their respective stereotypes like the hacker, the pickpocket, etc.
At least this film's final act differs from previous entries – the central heist is wrapped up in a bow by two-thirds the way in. Did I mention there’s virtually no tension the entire film? Every turn for originality or a clever twist is squandered immediately and every hiccup in the plan is resolved far too quickly.
Though Ocean's is as good a franchise as any to revamp with a female cast, I wish there was something more stylistically satiating to savor in 8 than watching attractive actresses hang out and do nifty things.
To keep it brief...
Soon to Come:
the first installment of
The Absolute State of /tv/