Sunday, February 3, 2019

Ocean's Eight

Movie Name: Ocean's Eight
Year of Release: 2018
Director: Gary Ross
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Awkwafina, Richard Armitage, James Corden, Richard Robichaux, Marlo Thomas, Dana Ivey, Elliott Gould
Genre: Action, Comedy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6 
View Trailer

Synopsis and Review:
Director Gary Ross has followed his slightly forgotten "Free State of Jones" with this romp, which drinks in spirit and style (though less breezy and jazzy) from the trilogy created by Steven Soderbergh starting with "Ocean's Eleven" in 2001. The film follows the story of Debbie Ocean, the sister of Danny, who we come to learn has passed away. She's applying for parole, and once out, she goes about reconnecting with her best friend and partner, Lou. They set in motion the plans for a new heist, but in order to do so, they need to recruit a new group willing to embark with them on the project, including fashion designer Rose Weil, jewelry expert Amita, hacker extraordinaire Nine Ball, detail driven Tammy and pick pocket artist Constance. Their goal is steal some precious jewelry during the Met Gala, and they prepare thoroughly, even for the unexpected.
"Ocean's Eight" is a slight variation from the films created by Steven Soderbergh. That series has been a testament to the rhythm and impeccable timing Soderbergh has created, where everything works like a finely tuned clock, with the breezy aspect of the performances just adding enough panache to the whole endeavor. Gary Ross isn't as economical or dexterous as a director, and there's definitely a more standard approach to his point of view of these proceedings, but the film is nonetheless entertaining and impeccably put together. It's also a great excuse to get a fantastic group of actresses together, even if they don't get to do much (Helena Bonham Carter, Cate Blanchett and Sarah Paulson do end up being underserved in particular, but they seem to have fun while doing it). It's a fairly innocuous endeavor, where everyone gets to wear nice costumes, look impeccably airbrushed (or in some cases, distractingly wrinkle free) and that's pretty much it. There isn't a somewhat bitter bite, as Soderbergh sometimes places in his trilogy, which typically makes these slight exercises have a bit of insight into these cardboard cutouts of characters, but it's nonetheless an entertaining film.