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Girl Gang Strikes

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Ocean’s Eight
Gary Ross
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna and others
Rating: * * *

The last film in the Ocean’s trilogy was in 2007, so how to carry on a successful caper franchise without overpopulating the cast — Ocean’s 14 would be too much. Why, get a gang of women of course! The high-powered cast of female stars of Gary Ross's Ocean's Eight looks great and stealing a priceless diamond necklace at a classy event like the Met Gala looks like much more fun than safe-cracking!

So Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), a sister of Danny (played by a suave George Clooney in the Steven Soderbergh films and Frank Sinatra in the 1960 original) comes out of jail on parole, and gets right down to stealing and planning a heist, because that’s what she knows best. She rounds up a multi-racial girl gang, old crime mate Lou (Cate Blanchett), fashion designer Rose (Helena Bonham Carter), the mandatory hacker called Nine Ball (Rihanna), a street congirl Constance (Awkwafina), a housewife-thief Tammy (Sarah Paulson), a jeweller Amita (Mandy Kaling), and the glamorous Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway), who is to wear the Touissant necklace at the Gala, joins in at some point.

When Ghostbusters did an all-woman version, it bombed, but talk style, fashion and the elan needed to get into the bastion of poshness wearing splendid outfits, and leave with a mound of diamonds — what’s not to like?

Debbie has another motivation for the crime — to take revenge against her former boyfriend who got her sent to jail — Claude Becker (Richard Armitage). Then, with a glee that permeates the film, Debbie says, “Somewhere out there, there’s an eight-year-old girl dreaming of becoming a criminal. You’re doing this for her.”

Ocean’s gang of eight are not exactly role models, but for women who want to prove their worth in a man’s world and have fun doing it, why not a perfect crime that hurts nobody but the insurance companies (James Corden turns up as an insurance fraud investigator and two characters from the earlier films walk by too).

Celebs like Anna Wintour, Katie Holmes, Kim Kardashian, Serena Williams and others appear as themselves to up the glam quotient. Ocean’s Eight may not be among the best heist films ever, but it is very enjoyable just watching the actresses do what they are best at — burn up the screen.

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