FILM REVIEW | Ocean's 8

OCEAN'S 8 [M]: Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Cate Blanchett and Awkwafina play five members of the heist team in this sequel, now in cinemas.
OCEAN'S 8 [M]: Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Cate Blanchett and Awkwafina play five members of the heist team in this sequel, now in cinemas.

Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter – there’s a lot to like about Ocean’s 8.

A spin-off of seminal 2000s heist trilogy Ocean’s 11, 12 and 13, the new flick features a fresh heist and a women-only crew of thieves.

Bullock plays Debbie Ocean, sister of George Clooney’s Danny Ocean of the previous three films.

She’s just gotten out of jail, where she has spent five years concocting the ultimate heist. Her target – the Met Gala, one of the biggest day’s on the fashion/celebrity calendar, held at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Debbie and best bud Lou (Blanchett) gather a team of cons to pull off the daring job – stealing a $150-million diamond necklace from the Gala’s guest of honour, actress Daphne Kluger (Hathaway).

Ocean’s 8 shares its core plot structure with Ocean’s 11 but it’s not as snappy as Clooney’s version. That’s 8’s biggest drawback – it just lacks the speed and witty timing that made the trilogy such a hit. However, that’s a minor gripe for a movie that’s a lot of fun.

Hathaway is living it up as Daphne, having an absolute ball playing a character that’s pretty much a stylised version of the public’s perception of herself. Bullock drips with sophisticated coolness while Blanchett also emanates a too-cool-for-school vibe. Bonham Carter is perfectly cast as a disaster of a fashion designer and Sarah Paulson proves she can excel on the big screen as well as Ryan Murphy TV shows as the crew’s ‘fencer’.

Rihanna and newcomer Awkwafina round out the team as the expert hacker and pickpocket, respectively. Rihanna is the weakest performer of the cast, while Awkwafina is a shining surprise, bringing an off-kilter vibe reminiscent of Kate McKinnon.

There are lots of cameos. Scenes at the Met Gala were always going to make for a great cameo-spotting opportunity and even though it might not be packed with A-listers, there are B- and C-grade celebs aplenty.

Rating: 7/10

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