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EXCLUSIVE FILM REVIEW: OCEAN’S 8 (12A)

Ocean’s 8 is a continuation of Steven Soderbergh’s trilogy that launched in 2001 with Ocean’s 11 – which itself was a remake of the 1960 film of the same name.

It’s been a fair few years since the last Ocean’s movie, and in that time Danny Ocean (George Clooney) has died, or at least that’s what we’re being told.

His sister, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) has been in prison for five years. Upon her release, she heads to New York City to reconnect with her old friend Lou (Cate Blanchett). The time behind bars was more than long enough for her to plan the perfect heist – stealing a $150million Cartier diamond necklace at one of the most secure and exclusive events in the Big Apple from the neck of Anne Hathaway’s socialite.

In true Ocean’s style, Debbie assembles a team to help her pull off the robbery. This all-female crew includes the Irish designer Rose (Helena Bonham-Carter), street hustler Constance (Awkwafina), jewellery cutter Amita (Mindy Kaling), collector of stolen goods Tammy (Sarah Paulson) and computer hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna).

Every character is given their chance to shine with each of them getting a fair amount of screen time and none of them being overshadowed by others – an impressive feat given some of the A-listers involved.

As enjoyable as Ocean’s 8 is, there are many flaws. Before I get into them, I’d like to address the elephant in the room… the all-female cast.

 

There have been reports of certain cast-members arguing that lukewarm reviews from men are ‘unfair’. A similar thing happened after the release of the Ghostbusters reboot, with the director Paul Feig stating that those criticising the film were sexist. Sure, I’m not a woman but I know a good film when I see one. I couldn’t care less as to whether a film has an all-female cast – I only care as to whether the film itself is any good.

Now we’ve got that out of the way…

I felt the writing for Ocean’s 8 was lazy. The movie is pretty much a remake of Ocean’s 11 – with an almost identical storyline. Other than a having a new cast, if the filmmakers didn’t want to give us something new, why give us anything at all?

Also, the stakes simply aren’t high enough. We’re given no reason as to why the cast need the heist money, no disastrous consequence should they fail – and no real villain to get in the way.

That being said, I was entertained enough throughout. Ocean’s 8 is bright and breezy with a fun soundtrack.

The cast clearly had a lot of fun making this – with their camaraderie contagiously stealing the show – but I just wish they were given a better and more original script to work with.

Mikey Clarke

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Genre: heist-caper

Running Time: 1hr 40mins

Written & Directed By: Gary Ross

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham-Carter, Rihanna & Awkwafin.

See Ocean’s 8 and much more at Showcase Cinema, Peterborough. Visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for the latest up-to-date show times. You can also join the chat on Twitter @showcasecinemas or on Facebook by searching for ‘Showcase Cinemas UK’.

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