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Ocean's 8 - A decent spin-off that doesnt quite capture the thrills of the original trilogy

by Roisin Gordon. Published Sun 08 Jul 2018 18:00, last updated: 11/07/18

Ocean’s Eight serves as a continuation of the Steven Soderbergh’s trilogy, but this time with an all-female line up and a new target. Whilst this film doesn’t quite reach the same standard as the previous films, it’s star-studded cast does well in keeping you entertained.

The film centres around Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), the younger sister of the late Danny Ocean who has definitely inherited his fondness for crime and thieving ways.

After being released from prison, she decides to follow in her brothers footsteps, by pulling off a huge heist of her own, with her target being the New York Met Gala. Debbie soon assembles her own team of experts, who each have a skill that is essential to carrying out the master plan.

Their plan is to steal a designer necklace worth $150 million, whilst using global superstar Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) as a pawn to make the plan work.

Gary Ross takes over from Steven Soderbergh for directing duties, and whilst he does provide us with a serviceable and entertaining film, he doesn’t add much to make the story new and refreshing.

The film does a decent enough job acting as a continuation of the original trilogy, and does follow the format well enough. However it would have been a lot more interesting had there been more risks taken with the story.

Having the master plan centred around stealing an expensive necklace, just didn’t seem that big of a risk to carry off a huge heist, especially when you compare it to the previous films where the targets were much grander and had bigger obstacles for the group to overcome.

There also weren’t many moments where the characters and their plan were put in jeopardy, which could have provided a few twists and turns in the story, but when there was, they were solved quickly enough to not keep you on the edge of your seat.

The main villain was a let down in comparison to Andy Garcia in the original films. He wasn’t written to be very interesting, there wasn’t much about him or his backstory that would have you invested in his rivalry with Debbie Ocean and wanting to see him get his comeuppance.

Richard Armitage has proven to be a good actor in the past, but he lacked any chemistry with Bullock to have really made the part work.

The characters are entertaining throughout the film, but much like the original trilogy, we don’t learn too much about them, asides from a brief introduction to each character.

Sandra Bullock does an impressive job in her role as Debbie Ocean, who brings just as much of a commanding and charming on screen presence, as Clooney did in the original trilogy. Bullock manages to make her character likeable despite her crooked nature, as well as bringing out the comedic side to her character.

Cate Blanchett also does a brilliant job as Lou, whose quick witted and headstrong personality serves as a great right-hand woman for Bullock, and you really enjoy watching the banter between their characters.

Anne Hathaway is highly entertaining in the role of Daphne Kluger, stealing every scenes she was in, as the character’s spoilt and air headed nature really allowed Hathaway show off her natural comedic timing.

Helena Bonham Carter and Awkwafina also show off their brilliant comic chops in their respective roles, as they literally steal every scene they’re in.

Whilst Bonham Carter is nowhere near as eccentric as most of her previous roles, her character is still so much to watch, particularly in her scenes with Anne Hathaway.

Then there’s Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling & Rihanna, who all give equally good performances as their co-stars, however they do feel largely underused in their roles, which was a shame as it would have been nice to see a bit more from their characters.

Whilst we all love watching James Corden and his comedic antics, his role as insurance fraud investigator felt rather out of place and didn’t really add much to the story. It would have been great if his character posed as a bigger threat to the gang but he just came across as annoying.

Thankfully Corden’s role is only a small one, so it doesn’t take too much away from the film. Whilst Ocean’s 8 may not be a classic, it does have some entertaining moments as well as some solid performances amongst the cast.

Purple Revolver Rating: 3.5/5- fun but not a classic



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