Director: Gary Ross
Writers: Gary Ross and Olivia Milch
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway
As someone who wasn’t a massive fan of the first Ocean’s trilogy I feel safe in saying that I wasn’t going into this one with great expectations. Whilst this film didn’t soar past my expectations, I certainly enjoyed more than I did the original trilogy.
There’s certainly no doubting the ability of the cast at hand. Even outriders such as Rihanna have a solid showing in this movie, with no one really under-delivering. But equally only Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter deliver in any meaningful way. Even the supposed star of the movie, Sandra Bullock, feels as though she’s reigning in her performance at times, with only brief glimpses of the really strong performances we know she can give gleaming through.
Whilst Director Gary Ross has to be praised for attempting to give each of the protagonists plenty of character, I can’t overlook the fact that it came at the expense of depth. Sure each protagonist stood out for one reason or another, and occasionally the broke past simple stereotypes, but looking back I couldn’t tell you the names of more than two of the titular Ocean’s 8.
The plot is as threadbare as a heist movie can be and unfortunately, despite some initial opening scenes with Sandra Bullock’s character the build up to the heist itself is rather dull. The most colourful and engaging scenes are early in the movie when Sandra Bullock’s character has just been released from prison, but once the storyline kicks into gear that version of her disappears almost entirely and we’re left with a far duller version. It’s a shame because the movie certainly shows promise early on, but between the vanilla plot and the lack of any real threat or tension throughout THE ENTIRE movie it becomes hard for it to hold your attention.
It feels obvious that this is the corner-stone for what will be a franchise going forward, and despite my negative feelings towards the film in general I am actually optimistic for what this could become in the future. There was still some fun to be had at times with this movie, but the moments were too few and far between for them to have any real impact on the overall tone and feeling I had when I left the cinema. If those moments can be built upon in the future then the cast of characters is certainly strong enough to make future installments very good movies.
Overall this movie felt like missed potential. Gary Ross did a solid job of directing, but someone else should have taken sole control of the screenplay because there really wasn’t enough meat there to let you sink your teeth into anything substantial. Here’s to better things in the future.
Final Score: 6/10 Porgs