I know, I know. This is the weekend that The Incredibles return to the big-screen in a highly anticipated sequel. And I certainly should have published this last week, but whatever. Y’all gon’ get this TODAY.
I saw Ocean’s 8, the all-female hybrid sequel/reboot to Steven Soderbergh‘s Ocean’s Eleven franchise. Now I enjoyed the earlier films a great deal, and I was left skeptical as to whether a continuation, with all women or not, was even necessary. In this age of diversity and inclusion, however, Hollywood has begun to give women and underrepresented people a seat at the table, and Ocean’s 8 is proof of that. So while you may wonder whether it’s an essential part of the franchise, I have only one concern: Is it any good?
Thankfully, the answer is a resounding yes. Ocean’s 8 is just as fun and breezy as its male-dominated predecessors — maybe even more so. If you’ve seen the trailers then you know the plot. Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) is the sister of master criminal Danny Ocean (who was played by George Clooney in the earlier films, and who, by all accounts, is deceased when this story begins). Debbie’s coming out of the clink after a five-year stint and she’s already got a job in mind: the heist of the ever-glamourous annual Met Gala.
Now, the plan involves stealing a $150 million Cartier necklace, so there’s quite a bit of finagling that needs to happen. So, Debbie goes about recruiting her crew. They include Debbie’s former partner-in-crime — and maybe ex-lover — Lou (Cate Blanchett), hacker extraordinaire Nine Ball (Rihanna), down-on-her-luck fashion designer Rose (Helena Bonham Carter), jewelry designer Amita (Mindy Kaling), superslick pickpocket Constance (Awkwafina), and Tammy (Sarah Paulson), a suburban homemaker who secretly runs a mini criminal empire fencing stolen goods.
Yes, I know you can count. The eighth member of the crew isn’t really a member: Anne Hathaway is Daphne Kluger, a vain, vapid actress who’s unknowingly been chosen to wear the Cartier necklace to the Gala.
As is the case with these films, there are a few minor hiccups along the way, but it’s no spoiler to say that the heist goes off beautifully. What is magical are the numerous twists that take place afterward — and that’s really where the film won me over. The screenplay by Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) and Olivia Milch is smart and funny, with great lines that allow all of the actresses to play well off of one another. And while you know how things will end up, the joy is in getting there, and the film does so in unexpected ways. I mean, when James Corden shows up as a surprisingly competent insurance fraud investigator who has a bit of history with the Ocean clan, you do begin to wonder how our heroines are going to get away with the crime.
Again, I loved the performances in this movie. Standouts include Blanchett’s wry Lou, Paulson’s resourceful Tammy, Hathaway’s (not so) ditzy Daphne, and Rihanna’s crafty Nine Ball. Of course, the wardrobe is on point — it has to be in a film about robbing the Met Gala that also features a hilarious cameo from Anna Wintour. (Seems Anna has a sense of humor about herself. Federer!) Oh, and yes, there are hella other cameos, including Zayn Malik, Katie Holmes, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Kim Kardashian, Adriana Lima, Kylie Jenner, Alexander Wang, Nina Cuso, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Lily Aldridge, Olivia Munn, Zac Posen, Hailey Baldwin, Heidi Klum, and Lauren Santo Domingo.
And although the story may initially seem like the same ol’, same ol’, I loved that the script managed to take a few twists here and there that made it not-so-predictable. Oh, and there are a couple of cameos that reference the earlier Ocean’s trilogy, but that’s all I’m gonna say. I’ve already said too much!
So hey, if you’re looking for a good time at the movies and you’ve had your fill of superheroes — although, really, who could ever get tired of superhero flicks? — take a break and check out Ocean’s 8. It’s a fun, frothy caper that’ll most certainly leave you smiling by the time the credits roll.
Check out the trailer below.