In my Most Anticipated Films of 2018 I had the heist film Oceans 8 at my 6th spot. I loved the trailers and felt the gender swap concept made the most sense for a heist film, as many women have all female friends. So, suffice it to say I went into this film with very high expectations, hoping I would love it. Now that I have seen it, it’s a decent film but didn’t quite live up to my expectations.
The biggest strength of Oceans 8 is the cast led by Sandra Bullock as the sister to the original film series lead Danny Ocean. She has just been let out of prison and is ready to implement a heist that she has been planning during her incarceration. She recruits Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter and Awkwafina to make her plan work. These women have chemistry and do a good job working effortlessly together.
I also thought once Ocean’s 8 got going with the heist it became fun and enjoyable. The plan could have had a few more hitches the team would need to deal with but it was breezy and sold with class. The fashion and costumes are also top notch and really sell the whole Met Gala heist angle.
Unfortunately there are problems with Oceans 8. Mostly the set up for the heist did not interest me. They had so many scenes with characters huddled together looking at screens. This never works in movies and is a great way to guarantee I will be super bored. In the original Oceans 11 remake they did a better job setting up for the heist and building up the characters or at least explaining their character archetype within the group.
The other problem I had with Oceans 8 is I hated the score by the usually reliable Daniel Pemberton. It had a lot of organ music, which I felt was extremely strange for this hip modern movie and it was loud, overbearing and distracting. It didn’t fit at all with the film.
So, Oceans 8 ends up being a mixed review for me. There is entertainment to be had, especially once the heist gets going, and the cast is amazing. However, the setup is a bit of a slog and the score doesn’t work. I’d say it is worth a watch but I was hoping it would be better. Oh well.
Overall Grade B