It's been more than a decade since the Ocean's trilogy planted the then "it" men George Clooney and Brad Pitt firmly within the heist genre.
Now director Steven Soderbergh has handed the reins over to Gary Ross and instead of Clooney and Pitt, we have the "it" chicks Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett to head up an all-female crew of eight; including Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson, and Anne Hathaway.
For fear of spoilers I won't dive too deep into the plot details — suffice to say that Ocean's 8 does have its twists and turns, but on the whole plays it fairly safe.
Fresh out of jail, Debbie (Bullock) seeks revenge on the man who sent her there.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
As they say, revenge is a dish best served cold and five years in the clink has given her plenty of thinking time to come up with a really cold one. It is a plan that involves an elaborate heist to rob the multimillion-dollar Cartier diamond necklace right from under the nose of Daphne Kluger (Hathaway) at New York's glitzy Met Gala ball.
Aside from a few head-scratching moments, which are eventually explained by the obligatory "how it was all done" flashback, the plot is fairly watertight and explained with such mechanical precision there is little time left to flesh out it many characters.
The end result is a soulless film that attempts to inject some warmth with a few chuckles and an emotive soundtrack.
But the biggest disappointment is it is far too tentative in its feminist agenda. More should have been made of eight kick-ass women who are played by some of Hollywood's heaviest hitters.
One might argue the very nature of women occupying roles traditionally reserved for men goes some way to normalising such roles. But here it feels like the potato becomes too hot to handle for the male director.
Sure, Ross does an acceptable job of swinging a camera kinetically around a set, he gets the job done, but he doesn't come close to tapping into the charisma of his ensemble cast. Ultimately, Ocean's 8 is clinical, mildly entertaining and carries you along — but could've been so much more.
Director: Gary Ross
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter
Running time: 110 minutes
Rated M, offensive language