The fam and I saw Ocean’s 8 yesterday. It’s been awhile since I’ve watched a movie during opening weekend. Let me put it this way: I saw Dr. Strange two years after it came out. When I get excited about a movie, I know I will like it. I mean, I saw the movie yesterday and still geeking out 24 hours later.
Let’s get the basics out: Ocean’s 8 is based off the early 2000’s trilogy, Ocean’s 11, which is based on the 1960 rat pack film of the same name. Debra “Debbie” Ocean (Sandra Bullock) is the sister of Danny Ocean (George Clooney in the 2000s trilogy), who *spoiler alert* passed away in 2018.
Debbie spent five and a half years in the slammer after a con with her ex-lover went wrong. She’s freed from jail and quick to shoplift haute fashion shops like Burberry and Bergdorf Goodman. She cons a hotel receptionist and lands herself a sweet suite. So much for getting out on good behavior.
Debbie recruits her good friend, Australian nightclub owner, Lou (played by Cate Blanchett). Debbie explains during her time in jail, she planned the perfect heist. The heist? Steal the Toussaint necklace, worth $150 million, at the annual Met Gala. To perfect the heist, she needs five additional accomplices. The team involved are Nine-Ball the hacker (Rihanna), Rose Weil the fashion designer (Helena Bonham Carter), Constance the pick-pocketer (Awkwafina), Amita the jewelry expert (Mindy Kaling), and Tammy the smuggling re-seller (Sara Paulson). Rose Weil uses the Toussaint as Daphne Kluger’s (Anne Hathaway) accessory to the Met Gala. The con is a *spoiler alert* success until the insurance fraud investigator, played by James Corden, is out to sniff out who done it.
I have not seen the Ocean’s 11 trilogy with Clooney, but know the main components: $150 million prize money, main sidekick, pick-pocketer needed, Vegas casinos as the venue, all-star cast. It’s pretty much the same except instead of Vegas, it’s New York City. Instead of the blackjack tables at the most famous casinos, it’s the dinner tables of the most exclusive fashion event. Cate Blanchett is the Brad Pitt. Awkwafina can be argued as the Matt Damon.
As much as these women are bad-ass and empowering, it’s a total girls movie: Vogue, Met Gala, Kardashian cameos? Not only it seeps in sugar, spice and everything nice (with a watered down vodka twist), but it’s a portrait of this generation. If this movie were to be shown 50 years from now, I would not be surprised if the viewers would be able to pick the release year out without looking it up. Now, I am not saying this is a bad thing. I, for one, fell in love with the film. It’s like my journal of interests and desires and bucket list items was stolen and incorporated into this movie – interested in fashion, desire to work for Vogue and afford all the pieces involved in each of the ladies’ wardrobes, bucket list item is to attend the Met Gala as a invited guest. I also love, love, love the cast (more on that later).
In terms of the actual plot, the movie is too perfect. Nothing goes wrong and the time it does go wrong, it’s resolved in less than 20 minutes. As long as you don’t think about it much, it’s a good movie. Huffington Post did a “blow-by-blow” of the Ocean’s 8 heist. No need to ruin the fun with explanations.
Now, earlier I said empowering. Yes, it is. In this era of #MeToo, Time’s Up, and demand for gender equality, I feel this movie came at the perfect time (unlike say the all female-cast of Ghostbusters). The women of Ocean’s 8 are masterminds in their own right. They are confident and intelligent (and let’s not forget fashionable). The chemistry between each cast member flows smoothly and their star power doesn’t overpower each other. This is the second movie this year that I was able to be fully sucked into their world and genuinely experience their emotions (the first being Avengers: Infinity War).
The one thing I noticed was the commercialism of the film. Cartier was named as the exclusive jeweler for this film, as seen in this Forbes article. Vogue stayed as Vogue. There was no changes to the Met Gala name. Every big name celebrity appeared as a cameo in the Met Gala red carpet scene (at least three Kardashians, two major tennis players, one supermodel turned AGT-judge, one of my fav musicians, and Anne Wintour herself). Every boutique Debbie shoplifts and brand stolen is seen clear as day. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is shown in its grandeur both pre-gala and during the gala. I believe this is one of many films and TV series returning to the 1980s/Back to the Future mindset that commercialism is good. Let’s face it: The Fosters series finale pretty much did a 3-night commercial for the Beaches resort in Turks & Caicos. I don’t mind the commercialism, it’s just there is a time and place for it. For Ocean’s 8 to be realistic so to speak, you needed that commercialism.
I loved the film. I’m happy I did not wait until it came out on Netflix. It’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s empowering for women. I’ve check two out of the three Ocean’s: Frank Sinantra, Sandra Bullock and now I have to watch George Clooney. If you need me, I’ll be powering up my VCR to watch Ocean’s 11 on VHS (yes, Gen Z, those are real words haha).