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This all-girl riff on Steven Soderbergh’s deliciously slick Oceans trilogy is a fun-enough spin-off that centres around a revenge heist orchestrated by Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), sister of George Clooney’s Danny. Her team comprises Ocean’s partner (Cate Blanchett, who has very little to say or do here), a has-been, tax-evading fashion designer (Helena Bonham Carter, playfully described as “big in the 90s – big Edwardian collars”), a diamond expert (Mindy Kaling), stoner-hacker “Nine Ball” (a drily hilarious Rihanna), a pickpocketing, motormouthed teenager (comedian Awkwafina) and Sarah Paulson’s bored stay-at-home mum as the “fence” or go-between. Their plan is to steal a Cartier necklace from the unsuspecting neck of Bambi-eyed actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) at the Met Gala and pin the blame on Debbie’s art dealer ex-boyfriend.
Some things work well, such as Hathaway, whose finely tuned facial expressions are the best thing about the film by a country mile; elastic smile and saucer eyes one minute, features furrowed like a wily cat’s the next. Ditto for Blanchett’s jackets, which range from buttery motorcycle leathers and green velvet to leopard-print fur, silk bombers and immaculately tailored pantsuits in sky blue and Willy Wonka plum.
And, as might be expected of an Oceans film, things move smoothly; to its credit, there’s very little fat here. However, while glossy efficiency might be the grease needed to pull off a heist, it’s not quite enough to oil the wheels of an ensemble movie. The characters work as individual moving parts for hire, but don’t gel as a group. It feels like a wink to the snapped tiara at the end of Mean Girls when the dismantled jewel is divvied up between the women, but the pack mentality that made Soderbergh’s Oceans so much fun is missing.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Ocean’s 8 review – all-girl gang doesn’t quite deliver the goods | Film