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Movie Review: 'Ocean's 8' Women Give Fellas Run For Their Money

by Todd A. Smith


(Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)


All Girl Band of Bandits 



Currently, Hollywood finds itself in a bit of a predicament.

So many media outlets exist from the big screen to the small screen with thousands of television networks, along with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

While consumers will probably not complain about more choices for their entertainment, Hollywood executives and creative visionaries have to come up with enough content to fill so much space.

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on one’s perspective, Hollywood has had to remake many classics like “Ghostbusters,” “Annie” and “Ocean’s 11” just to come up with successful material.

What makes the “Ocean’s 11” franchise so unique is that “Ocean’s 8” is the second reincarnation of the heist film series because the original version came out in 1960 starring the Rat Pack.

In “Ocean’s 8,” Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), the sister of Danny Ocean (George Clooney) leads an all-girl band of bandits in a successful, smooth, slick and sophisticated revival of the franchise.

The movie brings a feminine touch to the story of robbery and sleekness, but does not take away from the intensity that made Clooney’s versions so popular with fans.

In “Ocean’s 8,” Debbie makes a profound statement.

The authorities will see a male con artist coming a mile away.

However, those same authorities might not notice a woman getting away with the same con job.

Upon her release from prison, Debbie vows to the authorities that she just wants to live a normal life like work a 9-5 and walk a dog.

She tells a police officer that she has approximately $45 in her pocket so she can go anywhere she wants to.

For many people, $45 would not be enough to drive from one side of town to the other. But for a con artist with the last name Ocean, $45 can provide an ocean’s worth of possibilities for a prosperous future.

Although Debbie rarely makes legitimate money coming from a criminal family like the Oceans, she is accustomed to the finer things in life.

However, that $45 presents a problem for a person with expensive taste.

To solve that problem, Debbie has a few solutions.

She cannot afford the finer things in life like expensive perfume, so Debbie concocts an idea to “return” perfume to the high-end store even though the items have never left the store.

Debbie asks the cashier in the store for reimbursement for the perfume that she wants to return.

When the cashier asks for the receipt, Debbie informs the employee that she does not have the receipt, but since the perfume is still in its packaging they should still be returnable.

However, after the cashier insists that she needs a receipt for a return or that she needs to take it upstairs to customer service, Debbie settles on just keeping the perfume.

But she asks the cashier for a bag since she did not bring the store bag with her for the return.

The cashier obliges and Debbie walks out with the stolen perfume.

Debbie also wants to stay in one of New York’s swankier hotels, but that $45 probably could not get her a cup of coffee in such luxurious buildings.

Therefore, Debbie watches as a couple checks out of the hotel and leaves for the airport, getting their name and room number by eavesdropping.

A few minutes later, Debbie calls the same hotel clerk that checked the couple out and informs her that their flight has been canceled and the couple wants to return to the same room as opposed to staying at one of the low-end airport hotels.

However, Debbie asks if the housekeeping crew could clean their same room before they returned.

The hotel obliges and while the housekeeper is cleaning the couple’s room, Debbie enters and lets the housekeeper know that she has done a good enough job and can leave.

So with $45 to her name and nowhere to go, Debbie has luxury clothes, perfume and a luxury hotel room.

Not bad for a quick con job is it?

No, so Debbie takes that same mentality and applies it to her latest and biggest con.

Debbie wants to round up a few women to pull off a heist at The Met Gala.

The heist consists of stealing the Toussaint necklace by Cartier valued at $150 million.

One major problem exists.

The Toussaint is kept guarded five stories below The Metropolitan Museum floor and no one is usually allowed to wear the necklace.

So Debbie has to design a way for The Met to relax its restrictions on the Toussaint and let someone borrow it and then find a way to steal it once the restrictions are relaxed.

Honestly, “Ocean’s 8” has three huge shoes to fill trying to measure up to its predecessors.

And after Debbie begins recruiting women to join her career, it initially seems that the shoes remained too big for any newcomers to fit into.

At the beginning of “Ocean’s 8,” the movie seems a little too girly with the emphasis on fashion and the Met Gala itself.

However, once the caper begins to take fruition, the new group of Ocean thieves proves that they can more than hold their own with their more masculine counterparts.

“Ocean’s 8” shows that a possible “Ocean’s 9” and “Ocean’s 10” could make fans forget about the guys and focus totally on the girls.

Casting pop star Rihanna as 9-Ball will make perfect sense when moviegoers see her performance.

Anne Hathaway is alluring in her role as the unsuspecting movie star.

Bullock is her usual sexy self.

And Rihanna is simply one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood even as a pot smoking computer hacker.

Adding late night talk show host James Corden to the mix creates more comedy than the film already possesses and “Ocean’s 8” definitely has its comedic moments.

But the film breaks another glass ceiling for women in Hollywood.

This year, the #MeToo movement has dominated the headlines as women have spoken out against sexual harassment and sexual assault in the entertainment business.

“Ocean’s 8” also has its me too moment, not to minimize the importance of the movement.

But it breaks the glass ceiling of the types of movies women can dominate in.

Romantic comedies and dramas often see women in dominant and take-charge roles.

However, ‘Ocean’s 8” sees women breaking into the sometimes all boys club of heist films.

And the ladies show they can do it better than the men, while looking better doing it.






This article was published on Thursday 07 June, 2018.
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