Crime Time (Ocean’s 8, 2018)
We have not seen an Ocean’s followed by a digit movie in eleven years. And that has been okay. I really enjoyed the first and third films of the series led by the husband of Amal Clooney and Angelina Jolie’s ex-husband. But I had not really given much thought over the years to another installment.
Set shortly after the apparent death of Danny Ocean, his sister Debbie gets paroled. She promises the parole board she just wants a quiet life. But you do not have much of a movie if she weren’t lying. It turns out that Debbie has been working out a big heist the entire time she was in prison. She joins up with her former partner in crime Lou. Lou is a semi legit nightclub owner with a shady past of working scams with Debbie.
They assemble a team of “the best at what they do” ladies. There is jeweler Amita, hacker Nine Ball, pick pocket Constance, disgraced Fashion designer Rose and fencer Tammy. They set out to steal a very rare necklace that almost never sees the light of day at the yearly Met Gala.
There is not a lot of depth to the characters, they exist more for their skills than anything. But that is to be expected in a heist film in general and a larger ensemble one even more. Heist films are about the heist, the characters just need to have some unique flavor. And thankfully, they do. Each character has a distinct personality from the others. This may seem like I am contradicting myself, but being a loose sketch that does not go to deep does not mean characters are not memorable or distinctive from other characters in the story.
When it comes down to it, a heist movie should be fun. You should be trying to work it out, see if you can find the flaws and if the plan actually covered it. If the final reveal is satisfying, you have done good. And Ocean’s 8 is quite a bit of fun. The choice to make the heist crew all female makes for a bit of a twist on the Ocean Franchise giving all sorts of creative costume and fashion changes (as I imagine guys would all end up in tuxes). The Met Gala setting also allows for fun interferences.
Ocean’s 8 is a fun heist movie. I enjoyed the performances, the set up and the results. When the film was announced, I recall some negative responses of “Who asked for this”? But I honestly find that a dumb question. Most movies were not “asked” for. Nobody was saying “I need a movie about Oscar Schindler…but Speilberg made a powerful film anyways. Was I asking for another Ocean’s heist film? No. But we got one and I had a lot of fun watching it.