9.21.2018

Movies: Ocean's Eight

I just . . . didn't care. About any of these characters. None of them charmed me* or made me want to cheer them on. And there was a noted lack of witty banter, which is usually the backbone of these kinds of films.

Between this and the all-female Ghostbusters, I feel like scripts are really giving female-driven movies the short end of the stick. Instead of playing to strengths, they just try to take male characters and plug women into them. The result is a mismatch, something that comes off as vaguely discordant.

I worked with Sandy Bullock, and she can be so funny and charming. This movie just didn't do her justice. Nor did it do much for any of the other wonderfully talented women involved.

For anyone who might not know, this girly version of the heist franchise centers on Bullock as Debbie Ocean, Danny's (you remember him as George Clooney) sister. Apparently the entire family are unrepentant criminals. Make a family reunion movie, guys. It'd probably be way more entertaining than this was.

Anyway, Ocean gets out of prison and immediately puts together a big job—stealing a famous necklace during a Met Gala. Because we all know women like jewelry, I guess.

The writers tried to shoehorn in some revenge-on-the-lover-who-put-her-away story, but though hinted at early on, it wasn't brought forward until much later, which gave the whole thing the feeling of, "Oh, we need something to thicken this plot soup." By then, we didn't care and it was too late to get us to start.

The short answer is, the movie took itself too seriously. Even in the moments I think it was trying to be lighthearted. There needed to be greater ease between the characters, a more relaxed atmosphere over all. Instead, everyone was stiff. Dour. It wasn't fun to watch, and these movie need to be fun. That's the point of them.

And we need to care. About the characters, and about whether or not they succeed. That's where tension comes from, and here there just was none. The whole thing was flat and uninteresting. Meh.

* I did kind of like Helena Bonham Carter's character?