I bet you’d thought you’d seen every type of robbery and heist film possible on the big screen. Mini coopers speeding through Italy in The Italian Job, illusion and trickery in Now You See Me, and minds being broken into in Inception.
You are in for a surprise then.
Ocean’s 8 has arrived and, ladies, it’s all the glamour and girl boss you could want. You are invited to America’s most exclusive party, and you’ll be thrown into the plan involving a lot of celebrities, money and a large amount of expensive jewellery made from precious diamonds.
Ocean’s 8 is directed by Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) and is a spin-off of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy—which features George Clooney as Danny Ocean in Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen. The plot follows a group of women led by Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), Danny’s sister, and Lou (Cate Blanchett), her partner-in-crime, as they plan to rob the Met Gala.
With Danny out of the picture, the baton has been passed to Debbie—who has just been released from serving five years in prison for fraud. Ms Ocean says if she were to be released she would live the simple life, hold down a job, make some friends and pay her bills. The audience knows of course that she won’t be living a simple life; she’ll pick up where she left off and continue doing what she’s good at: fraudulent criminal.
As with most heist movies, much of the fun is seen in the planning and hiring of the members. With help from Lou, the cunning duo gather five more ladies to complete their perfect crew: fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), genius hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna), expert thief and pick pocket Constance (Awkwafina), suburban mom and fence Tammy (Sarah Paulson), and jewellery maker Amita (Mindy Kaling).
The target of the heist is celebrity Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway), who will be wearing a dress designed by Rose Weil along with a one-hundred-and-fifty-million dollar diamond necklace from the renowned French jewellery company, Cartier. Later, Daphne discovers what Debbie’s plan is and joins the crew, resulting in the considerably large sum of money being split between the eight of them.
I was thoroughly engrossed and entertained throughout the entirety of the film. Every actor ticked the box and played their character’s role exceptionally well. Rihanna’s Barbados roots found their way into Nine Ball’s characterisation. She is super gangster at portraying the tech savvy, devious hacker and allows the team to access the maps and security cameras inside the Met. The most straight-faced character is Debbie—which is understandable, she is the mastermind behind the whole plot and can only allow a sly smile every now and again. Bullock plays her role to a tee, with her extreme coolness giving her an icy charm.
Fashion also plays a key factor—which is to be expected, it’s set in New York. This benefits the film well; the attractiveness and chic style appeals to the audience, because it’s everything we all wish we could have. Fancy, intelligent females working as a team strutting around in glamourous outfits. What a life to live. Just wait until they arrive at the Met; their costumes, by designer Sarah Edwards, are truly stunning and really highlight why this event is so special. Blanchett gets the upper hand in the wardrobe department, sporting black leather, leopard prints and heavy bling. She even gets to ride a motorbike.
Can this film get any more badass? Well, yes, it absolutely can.
As you might have already gathered, Debbie Ocean is a genius. Without giving any spoilers, she uses this opportunity for a revenge plot and what she orchestrates is unbelievable. Those five years, 18 months, twelve days and counting have allowed her to devise a plan that is supposed to rival her brother’s work—and it has certainly paid off. The pacing of the film is quick and smooth. Every step of the heist is flawless and there is not a fault to be seen. Cinematographer Eigil Bryld performs camera work that glides along just as smoothly and adds to the nothing-could-go-wrong vibe for the unstoppable squad.
Principal photography took place in New York City, with much of it being filmed inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and several celebrities make cameo appearances. As the heist is carried out the camera pans over A-lister celebs, including Kim Kardashian, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Serena Williams, and even a few prominent designers—like Alexander Wang and Tommy Hilfiger—make the cut. Of course, it wouldn’t be the Met Gala without the organiser of the ball and queen of fashion, Anna Wintour, who gets a bit of screen time.
While the chances of something happening like this in real life seem slim, the idea of this crafty robbery is hilarious and satisfying to watch. The fact that these smart and sneaky females perform a criminal act that is mostly seen as male dominated in other high-grossing Hollywood films is gratifying. The star-studded cast pulls it off and leaves you shaking your head in disbelief because it seems that every con has its pros. What are you waiting for? Get down to your local cinema and let yourself be whisked away by Ocean’s 8.
The family legacy continues with a plan that is priceless.
Ocean’s 8 is in cinemas now!