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Ocean's 8


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66% on RT

 

$42M Opening Weekend

 

Ocean's 8 is a film that is better than Gary Ross's very poor Steven Soderbergh impression thanks to some dynamite casting, but it's ultimately unable to overcome the many issues that the writer / director brought to the table. On the surface, it's all there. Great cast, jazzy soundtrack, cool caper, and interesting characters. It's a recipe that Soderbergh managed brilliantly in Ocean's Eleven, but even he wasn't able to recreate it in his own sequels. It shouldn't be a surprise then, that Gary Ross falls even flatter in his attempt to cook up the same magic. 

 

Ross is completely unable to match Soderbergh's pacing or use the soundtrack to similar effect. This is a film that is completely centered around a high fashion event, but it's never able to be as effortlessly fashionable as Soderbergh's remake. It completely mistakes what, why, and how Eleven was so cool. Ross's poor impersenation didn't end at Ocean's Eleven either. The villianless structure was reminiecent of Magic Mike XXL and the end of the film directly echos Logan Lucky. In each case, Ross took something interesting and made it less so when grafted into Ocean's 8.

 

All that said, Ocean's 8 isn't a complete disaster. While the sum is less than that of its parts, many of those parts are unquestionably worthwhile. In particular the leads have excellent chemistry. I could watch Bullock's sly Debbie Ocean and Blanchett's disinterested Lou run petty schemes and cons for hours. Hathaway perfectly embodies the image obsessed actress archetype, and Helana Bonham Carter's perpetual fish out of water routine works very much in her favor here. The rest of the cast is solid even if not entirely put to the best use. There are small joys sprinkled throughout the film, the kind that could have made a good movie great, instead of a poor one mediocre.

 

The heist itself is interesting, but ultimately a failure in the ways that count. By never introducing a real foil for the ladies of crime, the stakes are kept to a minimum. That can be overcome given that there's still something of a thrill in the act, but the bigger issue is one of satisfaction. Regardless of how the heist itself ends, what the mark was or the reward, a successful heist film will leave you satisfied with the work. Inception's payoff is ultimately a single phone call and a business deal not going through, but there are both stakes and a real gratification in what they accomplish. That isn't present in Ocean's 8. Ross tries for it, but it feels hollow and ham fisted. He knew what it was he needed to do, he just wasn't good enough to get it done. In a film full of professional lairs, it's a shame that it's the director that couldn't make the disguise work.

 Given the rather reasonable box office performance I'd be happy to see another entry in this franchise, but I really hope they find someone else to put at the helm.

 

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37 minutes ago, Greatoneshere said:

I haven't seen the film, but great review.

 

First off: Ocean's Twelve is better (at least equal to) than Ocean's Eleven. You can find a lot of articles from people whose view on that film has really reversed.

 

Separately, your review seems to match what I've read elsewhere.

 

have to disagree. I loved 11, loathed 12, and enjoyed 13.

 

as for 8, it was okay, somewhat enjoyable but nowhere near as good as the original....err I mean the original remake, lol 

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3 minutes ago, EternallDarkness said:

 

have to disagree. I loved 11, loathed 12, and enjoyed 13.

 

as for 8, it was okay, somewhat enjoyable but nowhere near as good as the original....err I mean the original remake, lol 

 

Most feel 12 was okay or actively bad (so I know where you're coming from), but I think that's because people view the film as a heist movie, when it's more of a comedy / guys hanging out movie. Seen from that perspective, it is one of my favorite comedies ever, seriously. The movie is endlessly quotable. 13 is just okay - a forgettable but fun imitation of 11. 

 

The heist is irrelevant to the film for the most part. Here's one article (from an critic I like) to illustrate (he wrote that recently but I've felt this way about the film since I first saw it when it came out): 

 

http://collider.com/why-oceans-12-is-a-good-movie/

 

 

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8 is fine and fun, but is also really frustrating because it feels like it could be so much better without a ton of effort. I felt that most with the James Corden character, who just kinda bumbles in towards the end and says “I guess I’m the closest thing to a villain this movie has, but I just don’t really give a shit.”

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Even thought I'm not a fan of 12, I can at least understand why people love it. It's a deconstruction of the heist genre and a meta commentary on making sequels in general. It doubles down on the more esoteric aspects of the genre and actively rebels against what made 11 work so well. It's an audacious thing to do, and I'll give Soderbergh credit for trying, even if I didn't love the result.

 

Ocean's 8 is not that. It's much more like 13 in that it obviously wants to re-create each beat and success of 11, but consistently fails to do so, and fails much worse than 13 did on almost every level.

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