You might remember this, but back on 2004 the boys of the Ocean’s pack move away from the casino in exchange for a different venue, and country overall. Needless to say, the film was pretty much hate it for all fans of the first remake film. Some might point to the script, to the acting – or maybe was the location? After all, interestingly, Ocean’s Thirteen was better received and saw the guys getting back into their original and most favorite place to rob. So, was that pure coincidence or really the film has a very distinctive bond.
This idea came into my mind as I started thinking about the new Ocean’s 8 film. Not only did it make a complete gender swap, but it took this new group away from robbing some slots at a 888 casino and instead went in all fashion. And not trying to sound as a misogynist here, but once you get to meet the characters, the whole heist idea and its new location does pretty makes a lot of sense. Case in point, one thing that stands out from the beginning is their eye for fashion, all the way from the eye-catching looks to the rather subtle ones – the whole thing screams fashion.
So it works?
As mentioned in the past paragraph, when it comes to the whole heist concept, it does makes a lot of sense based on the personas of the eight leads.
Now, as for the film itself, having just a really fresh memory of it in my head as I recently came out, the acting was somewhat uneven – but they worked. There are some pretty consistent characters like Cate Blanchett’s Lou sassiness always remain throughout the film; Awkwafina’s Constance awkwardness (pun intended) was one of the highlights of the entire film and watching Anne Hathaway trolling her detractors with a cartoonist performance as Daphne Kluger was really funny and it was a bit of a throwback to the Diary’s Princess days. A standout, for sure.
On a rather sad note, veterans like the always charming Sandra Bullock’s mastermind Debbie Ocean starts very solid, just to turn into the serious and cold person of the group which sadly didn’t suit her well. Also, funny girl Mindy Kailing does not have too much comedic moments and it felt very flat.
And that last sentence takes into the next point, the film sadly it ain’t that funny. Some may find somewhat hilarious the whole meta jokes put out by the likes of Julia Roberts on Ocean’s Twelve, however this new sequel/reboot (?) has a only a few chuckles to deliver, which considering the comedic timing most of these ladies have, it’s almost a tragedy.
So it’s all a loss?
Let’s just say the whole gender swap concept that Hollywood is trying to make us so desperately want might be in a need of a reboot itself or at least, reinvention. It’s clear something’s missing, and that something can definitely be a heart. It all feels like a straight-forward cash grab, so finding some hearts and instead of rebranding, perhaps building new concepts based on these ideas?
Either way, Ocean’s 8 wasn’t entirely a mess nor a complete waste of time. The familiar tones and transitions from the original are there and may bring some nostalgia, and that can definitely work on the film’s favor… or against.
Also while the performances aren’t perfect, they are enjoyable enough to pass through the time. There’s a good chemistry in between these actresses that perhaps with a better script and director, this could become a milestone for film history and the entire progressive narrative.
While the pest for Ocean’s 12 might never go away, having change the location does brings a new fresh air into the franchise. And again, the fact the director and its costume designer choose to go all fashion, it really helps the entire plot and heist plan sustain itself and feel much probable.
In the end, paraphrasing the words of The Wrap/What The Flick? Alonso Duralde “This is a nice film. Though once you walk out of the theater, you will forget the entire thing and move along with your life.”