Opening with a scene reminiscent of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven (2001), this caper comedy introduces the late, lamented Danny Ocean’s younger sister Debbie (Sandra Bullock), leaving prison after five-years, eight months and 12 days behind bars. Swinging into action, Debbie purloins beauty products from Bergdorf Goodman, forges a posh Manhattan hotel registration, liberates a suitcase off a bellman’s cart and contacts her cool wing-woman Lou (Cate Blanchett) to explain an intricate scheme she’s been working on during her incarceration. Continue reading…
“Why do you need to do this?” Lou asks. “Because it’s what I’m good at,” Debbie answers.
She’s after serious ‘bling,’ namely Cartier’s Toussaint, a dazzling, six-pound diamond necklace, worth $150 million, which will be around the neck of vain, It Girl actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) at the upcoming Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Gala. Their job is to exchange it for a perfectly crafted cubic zirconia copy.
But that involves a team effort, so she recruits Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), a career-crazed couturier; Nine Ball (pop star Rihanna), an intrepid hacker; Tammy (Sarah Paulson), a proficient fence; Amita (Mindy Kaling), a diamond expert; and Constance (Awkwafina), a pickpocket/hustler.
Why an all-woman crew? As Debbie notes, “A ‘him’ gets noticed; a ‘her’ gets ignored. And, for once, we’d like to be ignored.”
Helmed by pedestrian director Gary Ross (“Pleasantville.” “Seabiscuit”), who collaborated on the superficial, gender-flipped script with Olivia Milch, there are lots of cameos, including Heidi Klum, Kim Kardashian, Katie Holmes, Dakota Fanning, Hailey Baldwin, Maria Sharapova, Olivia Munn, even Anna Wintour.
Early on, Debbie is determined to wreak vengeance against her smarmy ex-boyfriend, Claude Becker (Richard Armitage). And after the jewel heist, James Corden appears as a savvy insurance investigator.
FYI: In a mausoleum scene, one stone reads “Helga M. Meyer,” that’s the maiden name of Sandra Bullock’s late mom.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Oceans 8 scores a sparkling 7, an adventurous, fun chick-flick.