Hey, moviegoers? Have you ever wanted to see an Ocean’s movie, set years after the Ocean’s franchise was last relevant, and with almost none of your favorite characters returning? And, instead, they’ve been replaced with—gasp!—female characters? Well, buckle up for Ocean’s Eight, a spin-off movie that’s basically just another heist movie but with the Ocean’s tag slapped on it, because that’s how you make more money at the box office!
Hmm, you know, that opening paragraph might not strike the right tone. See, it was supposed to be sarcastic, lambasting the “fans” of movies who can’t stand seeing women lead what used to be a predominantly male-starring franchise—or just movies in general, it often turns out—but I’m not sure it quite gets there. But, let’s be clear here: if you’re that guy, stop being that guy. It’s a bad take.
But, yes, Ocean’s Eight is a spin-off of the once-popular Ocean’s trilogy, a series of movies starring men in suits robbing other men in suits because (1) it’s fun or (2) personal vendettas. This one stars women who plan to steal a necklace that’s worth $150 million, doing so by convincing a famous actress (Anne Hathaway) to wear it to the Met Gala and then pulling off a series of intricate and precise actions in order to take it off her neck, replace it with a fake, and walk out without being caught. It’s a heist movie, so the first half introduces the characters, gives them jobs, and maybe offers potential motivation for the crime, and the second half follows the job and its immediate aftermath. You should know how these things go by now.
The job is set up by Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), sister to George Clooney‘s Danny. She’s been in prison for the last five years, and immediately upon release decides it’s time to steal some jewels. Her partner in crime is Lou (Cate Blanchett), who spends her days watering down vodka. They recruit a few other women who have various heist-related jobs, and the movie’s pretty straightforward from there.
Its story doesn’t get as twisty and turny as one might expect. The few “surprises” are more expected than anything else, especially if you’ve watched the earlier Ocean’s movies. And you should do that. They’re fun! And you’ll understand a couple of references in this one if you do. But maybe don’t watch them back-to-back-to-back-to-back, since heist movies are all pretty similar, and you’ll probably get burned out.
Sorry, there hasn’t been a lot of analysis here. The movie is kind of lacking when it comes to things about which one can discuss. It’s a formulaic heist movie that uses the Ocean’s name in order to sell more tickets, but the story is decent enough, the actors are fun, there are a couple of comedic moments, and it works as pure entertainment. It won’t challenge you or do anything beyond functioning as simple entertainment, but at least it is entertaining. It could have been dull. It could have felt like a ripoff of its brother series. It could have been a paycheck movie. But it works as breezy entertainment.
While it’s unlikely to reinvigorate a desire for a ton more Ocean’s movies, Ocean’s Eight is a moderately fun heist movie with a game cast, a few laughs, a couple of stylistic flourishes, and a decent, if underwhelming, central job. It isn’t going to make you think or care a whole lot, but as something you watch to kill a couple of hours? I enjoyed myself. There are bland blockbusters and fun blockbusters, and Ocean’s Eight falls into the latter category.
Conclusion: Ocean’s Eight is a low-tier Ocean’s movie, but it’s still enjoyable.
Recommendation: If you like the other Ocean’s movies, you’ll have fun with this one, too.