The first thing to note about the reboot of the Ocean’s series is the complete lack of controversy about it. Other high profile films have encountered the wrath of the Internet fuckwits that feel that their childhoods are being ruined by replacing a character with penis with someone who has the gall to have a vagina. So, here the film has the chance to win or lose based on its own merits.
As with the previous films, the central premise is the building of a team to attempt an outrageous heist. The instigator is Debbie Ocean, sister of the recently departed Danny. Released after five years in prison, she has used her down time wisely and come up with a plan to steal a $150 million necklace. To do this she has to assemble a team that the neccessary skills to pull of the job.
The film is neatly separated into three phases. The intro to the main characters where we get to know the main players and their motivations. It’s not all about money, as it turns out. The mid section is the formation of the team. Each character has a short window to have their shot in the limelight. The last is the execution of the heist and the aftermath.
The normal issues with ensemble casts happen here as well. There is just not enough time to give everyone a decent amount of screen time. Of course, this is something that can be rectified in the planned sequels.
Director Gary Ross has taken the blue print from the Steven Soderbergh versions and fashioned a movie that has the same slick and kinetic feel. It is visually clean with a number of editing choices that keep things moving along nicely. This gives the leads plenty of chance to show off their talents and results in a film that is far from offensive and more than often thoroughly entertaining.
The music plays such a large part in the setting of the mood. Composer Daniel Pemberton has created a score that has the same feel is the work of Ocean’s 11 David Holmes. The bass driven funk pieces are a nice throwback to the recipes films and are used to great effect in enhancing the energy of the film.
Performance wise, this is the Bullock and Blanchett show. They both appear to relish the chance to lead the film and their on screen relationship feels very natural and easy. With this central pairing being such a success, it is easy for the various supporting characters to be introduced.
The film is also notable for a good performance from James Cordon. Here, he actually acts and takes the role of the insurance investigator seriously. There are none of the notable over the top elements of his persona and it is a pleasant reminder that the guy can actually pull off a straight acting role.
Ocean’s 8 will not stretch you in any way but it wasn’t designed to to so. It is a fun and entertaining movie that does exactly what it sets out to do.
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