Since I am a big fan of casinos – you know I like to visit online casinos and take advantage of the Casimba Bonus – it isn’t surprising that I love The Ocean’s movies. The Ocean’s franchise has long been a Hollywood darling. The original three films have been beloved by critics and audiences alike, and have spawned a host of imitators. But like any beloved property with many sequels, the original three films have plenty of glaring problems with their representation of women – and the other minorities in their stories. When the announcement came that an all-female spinoff was in production, the response was mixed. Some argued it was feminist pandering, others predicted another Ghostbusters-style backlash from angry men online. Does “Ocean’s 8” work on its own terms?
The announcement that the Ocean’s franchise would be getting an all-female spinoff was met with mixed reactions. Some were excited to see more women steal and make their way through the world, while others were skeptical. The skepticism was based on assumptions that it would be a gimmick.
The movie had a lot to prove: if it could keep up with Soderbergh’s original trilogy and solidify itself as its own entity without losing any of its style or charm, then it would do well to earn back some lost faith in Hollywood remakes.
The first three Ocean’s movies follow Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his gang after they’re released from prison following an 11-year sentence for stealing $150 million dollars from casinos around Las Vegas.
In contrast, Ocean’s 8—which was directed by Gary Ross (Pleasantville) instead of Steven Soderbergh—follows eight women on a heist.
The OG Ocean’s trilogy has been criticized for its dated and unrealistic portrayal of women as well as its portrayal of minorities and LGBT individuals. And while Ocean’s 8 may not be able to fully escape these criticisms, I argue that it does so with nuance, sensitivity, and respect for those characters who have traditionally been excluded from mainstream blockbuster cinema.
Is it really just a gimmick, or does it work on its own terms?
This movie is actually good. More than that, it’s actually really good. It has a great cast and crew who are clearly having fun with the material, plus they even got an Oscar winner (Cate Blanchett) to put in an appearance. The action scenes are superbly done, with both humor and heart-pounding suspense. It also has some of the best dialogue I’ve heard in any movie this year—not just comedies but everything!
One thing I would say is that there were one or two things that could have been cut out: one was the scenes where Sandra Bullock’s character gives speeches about being underestimated because of her gender; while they were well-written as speeches go, I don’t think they added anything to the story or did anything but make me roll my eyes when she delivered them again at another point during the film’s second act.