Caper flick more of the same

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HEIST: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter and Mindy Kaling are six of Ocean’s eight.

Ocean’s 8

  • Crime; Cert M, contains offensive language; 1hr 50mins
  • Starring: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina and Dakota Fanning,
  • Director: Gary Ross

THE cast looks good on screen and the jokes are well-delivered, but Ocean’s 8 is little more than a gender-reversed addition to the franchise.

When we meet Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock, Speed), she is before the parole board telling them how she wants to “live the simple life” if they were to free her.

The day of her release, she is in Las Vegas scamming hoteliers and shoplifting cosmetics.

So begins what is a carbon copy of Ocean’s 11 – only with three fewer thieves.

2018 Wedding Planner

Like the previous offerings from this brand, Ocean’s 8 is based just as much on character development as it is on the heist itself. The assembling-the-team scenes use basically the same gags and exposition as any heist film.

There is little doubt that the women in this film are at the pinnacle of their careers. The chemistry works well despite a few crypto-misogynistic scenes where Bullock and Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok) feign mutual attraction (because two women pretending to be in love is funny and two men pretending would be disgusting).

The script is lazy, the direction is mediocre but the acting better than the film deserves.

The real breath of fresh air is the choice of singer Rihanna to play Nine-ball – the computer-hacking, pot-smoking genius of the team.

Helena Bonham-Carter brings her absent-minded artiste character to the film and stands out – as usual – as the movie’s main comic relief.

Probably the biggest problem with this film is that it sacrifices on-screen time for the film’s stars (Cate Blanchett is particularly under-used), by wasting precious time with pointless cameos.

One scene with Elliot Gould (Ocean’s 11), harks back to the franchise’s previous offerings but otherwise provides nothing to further the plot.

This caper is worth seeing but don’t expect to be wowed by the storyline or final reveal.

8/10

mark.rieder@whakatanebeacon.co.nz

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