Tuesday, 19 June 2018

'Ocean's 8' Review

For years, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) has been planning the biggest heist of her life, targeting the world famous Met Gala. She must assemble a highly skilled team featuring hackers, con artists and a suburban mom in order to pull off a job worth over $150 million.

A cast can only do so much for a film. With the newest addition to the 'Ocean's' franchise, it's been the film's main draw, with the impressive crop of high-quality actresses looking to bring in a new audience into the series. Although the talent delivers big with genuinely enjoyable performances, they can't cover the film's weaknesses that spawn from its writing.

'Ocean's ' really fails to capitalise on its great ensemble with a complete lack of character or development, leading to each and every character is incredibly disposable. Each character has a very basic introduction and a moment to showcase what they will bring to the group but after that, they are left with very little to progress them throughout the rest of the film. The character interactions with one another revolve entirely around Sandra Bullock's Debbie so we don't get a great deal of this diverse cast mingling with one another. With this, the film does lack some personality, as none of the characters really feel any different from one another. There are no distinguishable traits other than the skills they bring to the team as the film hopes your admiration for these actresses will be enough to get them by.

Although the writing leaves a lot to be desired, these actresses try their best to add a fun energy to the film and succeed in doing so. Bullock and co are a joy to watch but it is Sarah Paulson who really stands out. Her character receives the best treatment from the script, with her being shown to have some form of a backstory, personality and just simply being an integral part of the heist. Paulson is fantastic with her character having the most hands-on approach allowing her to shine more than her co-stars. There is no weak link with stellar performances all around but you can't help but think how much more enjoyable they would be with better writing.

Not only does the writing leave the characters underdone, there is a sheer lack of drama and tension which in a heist film is a problem. The film's idea of creating tension is having Helena Bonham Carter look at a necklace long enough for it to be scanned or bus-boys stalling whilst taking a tray of dishes to a kitchen. There is never any moment where you feel as if the protagonists are in any real danger of being caught as they don't run into any real hiccups along the way. Although the heist itself is fun, it could've done with a bit more intensity in order to add more excitement to the final act. It has to be said that the heist itself is still enjoyable regardless, with some clever tricks, great costumes and the cast's charm shining through.

'Ocean's 8' gets by with its stellar cast, but the film's lack of character and drama stops it from being anything more than average. Although the film has its moments and is fun and enjoyable, you can't help but feel that it has come short of its potential. There is some optimism for if there is to be a sequel but also plenty to work on as well.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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