All Glitter No Gold
The formulaic cottage industry of male dominated heist caper ‘The Ocean’s’ since 1960 that starred Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and co has been an absorbing mix bromance, romance powered by a robbery.
OCEAN 8 recreates the Steven Soderbergh’s trilogy: Sandra Bullock plays Debbie Ocean – sister of George Clooney’s deceased Danny Ocean. Immediately released from prison on parole, Debbie (Bullock) forms an octagon of eight charming ladies to snatch a priceless necklace. The ‘felons’ consist of a computer hacker (Rihanna), a fashion connoisseur (Helena Bonham Carter), a multitask expert (Sarah Paulson), a jewelry maker (Mindy Kaling), a street-smart skateboarder-pickpocket (Awkwafina), an innocent actress (Anne Hathaway) and Debbie’s former partner-in-crime, Lou (Cate Blanchett – the female avatar of Brad Pitt).
Seems gorgeous!!, of course it is but this gender bending reboot of Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Ocean’ by Gary Ross, is all style but no substance, an eye popping disappointment. There are diamonds, gowns and the lovely Anne Hathaway in top form, some individual brilliance but overall the involving sweep in this heist is missing. Conversations are brand endorsements – one happens in a ‘Subway’ the other is about a mobile app. The reason for the steal is overwhelmingly banal; Debbie wants to take a revenge on Claude Becker (Richard Armitage) her former lover.
Gary Ross is unashamed of using all those rules of a male dominated heist movie in this all women heist caper, the steal keeps begging for innovations from the writer director, the terrific cast to the cameos by Marlo Thomas, Dakota Fanning, Katie Holmes, Serena Williams, Heidi Klum, Elizabeth Ashley, James Corden, even Vogue editor Anna Wintour but it’s all glitter no gold.
The lovely ladies lead by Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean, Cate Blanchett as Lou, Anne Hathaway as Daphne Kluger, Mindy Kaling as Amita, Sarah Paulson as Tammy, Awkwafina as Constance, Rihanna as Nine Ball, Helena Bonham Carter as Rose Weil are charming but Anne Hathaway is the scene stealer beyond doubt. The guys – Richard Armitage as Claude Becker and James Corden as John Frazier, the insurance fraud investigator are fine.
Production values are chic, the movie is shot in locations like the Cartier flagship store, the Plaza, Bergdorf Goodman, the Vogue offices and of course the Metropolitan Museum and its so eye candy but still the search for an engaging film is on. Sarah Edwards’ eye-popping costumes and the work of celebrated designers make OCEAN 8 a fashion parade but are we at a Fashion TV event? Certainly not.
OCEAN 8 is nothing but an eye popping, gorgeous piece of fluff, it’s disheartening to see such gorgeous ladies getting fascinated by a single man – Gary Ross and his cliché formulaic heist proposal wrapped in glittering posh romanticisms which fails miserably in making you fall in love though it captures your eye.