Ocean’s 8’s release is around the corner. The film, directed by Gary Ross, is an all-female spinoff of the original Ocean’s trilogy, directed by Steven Soderbergh. The film has a dream star cast with names like Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter and Awkwafina.
The original trilogy also had an ensemble cast and featured George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and others. All these films were inspired by Frank Sinatra starrer 1960 film Ocean’s 11. Steven Soderbergh’s trilogy began in 2001 with Ocean’s 11 and it was a huge success for Soderbergh and Warner Bros. It received positive reviews and took home over 450 million dollars.
Before Ocean’s 8 releases, let us look at the Ocean’s trilogy. All the Ocean’s films are fast-paced entertainers that are not meant to possess profound ideas. Every film is harmless, popcorn piece of cinema. You can see that from the sometimes smart but mostly ridiculous schemes George Clooney cooks up to pull off heists that would never work in real life.
The cast was excellent. George Clooney, people often forget, is a fantastic actor due to his disastrous turn as Batman in Joel Schumacher’s awful Batman & Robin. He is the lead in Ocean’s movies and is pretty ably complemented by Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, who, while not comparable to Clooney, do some of the best work they have done in their career. The films are also shot beautifully. The Las Vegas aesthetic and camera angles are pretty. Humour is also on point — understated and genuinely funny. While the quality varies, all sharp editing makes all three films grippingly entertaining. A lot of the stuff does not make sense but fast-paced scripts do not give you the time to notice many of the illogical things the films have.
Ocean’s 8 is not directed by Steven Soderbergh, and that is a shame. I also do not believe it is particularly empowering for female actors if studios put them in the same place as their male peers. Ocean’s 8 has basically the same plot as any other Ocean’s movie, and clearly, actors like Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett deserve better. The reviews are largely positive, however, and nearly all the negative reviews state that the script and direction failed what is one of the greatest casts in a heist movie.