Ocean’s 8: Ambitious Heist of the Year

Ocean’s 8 revives the lighthearted crime heist genre of filmmaking popularized by the Oceans franchise nearly ten years ago. Featuring an all-star cast of female leads, this film begins with an introduction to Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), who leaves prison with a plan for the biggest jewelry heist of her life. Together with her partner-in-crime Lou (Cate Blanchett), she recruits the following team of expert women to help her with the job at the Met Gala – jewelry maker Amita (Mindy Kaling), a hacker named Nine Ball (Rihanna), fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), street hustler and pickpocket Constance (Awkwafina), and profiteer Tammy (Sarah Paulson) – with Anne Hathaway starring as Daphne Kluger, the celebrity donned in the prized diamonds to be stolen. 

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Ocean’s 8 bears resemblance to its precursors in the Oceans franchise. The diversity of racial and cultural representation within the all-female cast is much appreciated, particularly since many films nowadays are being used to communicate a message, both subtly and overtly. The director and script writers effortlessly throw in controversial direct one-liners about the perception of women in a patriarchal world, which appeal to the largely female viewers of this film. The interweaving of cultural elements and various languages added an extra dose of bougie multiculturalism that typically accompanies the life of a con artist.

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Surprisingly, there were moments of Ocean’s 8 that seemed a bit slow and boring, despite it falling into the category of an intellectual adrenaline-filled thriller. For folks who are not familiar with the Oceans franchise or its characters, some background information is helpful, though not essential as it is established early on that Debbie is the sister of Danny Ocean (the much loved protagonist of Oceans 11, 12, and 13). As always, the twists at the end, while not unpredictable, are a welcome closure to the loose ends, and I enjoyed seeing a glimpse into how each character uses their share of money from the job.

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Final Verdict: Ocean’s 8 is a return to the engrossing and entertaining heist drama genre of filmmaking. Not much new here if you are familiar with the Oceans series but a great summer show to catch with fellow female friends!

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