Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Ocean's H8?

I'm just as stunned as you, ladies.

I usually write my reviews the week I see a film, posting on the day of release. I'm old school like that. I miss the days when you had to wait for Friday's morning paper to see if the new summer movie was worth seeing or not.

But these days, it's all about the "hot take," getting reviews out there as soon as possible. Despite that, I try to avoid reading most reviews before I've gotten a chance to write my own. As a result, when I'm done writing mine it sometimes comes as a big surprise to see that my opinion does not jibe with the majority's.

Last week I was felled by illness for a few days, unable to even look at a computer screen without being overcome with dizziness and nausea, so I wasn't able to finish my review of Ocean's 8 before my self-imposed Friday deadline. Because of that, I went ahead and checked out Rotten Tomatoes this weekend, only to find the film has a tepid ripe tomato rating. This was shocking to me because, and I'll put it bluntly, I fucking loved Ocean's 8.

It seems the general opinion is that it's good, as good as the Ocean's films that preceded it, but somehow it should have been better. That it's not enough to fill a sequel with a great female cast, a solid screenplay, and every trope that befits a good heist picture. There should've been more.

I can easily say I enjoyed Ocean's 8 as much as I did Ocean's 11, definitely more than Ocean's 12, and probably more than Ocean's 13, which I saw but have completely forgotten. It's not just a retread with a female cast, but cleverly creates a central heist that not only couldn't be pulled off by men, but is actually centered on women's frustrations, desires, and obsessions.

Along with the the fancy dresses and pretty jewels, there's a healthy dose of vengeful female rage, via Sandra Bullock's Debbie Ocean. There's also a starlet (Anne Hathaway) who is both vapidly vain and racked with debilitating insecurities; a Betsey Johnson-esque designer (Helena Bonham Carter) who fears she may have aged herself out of the industry with her latest dated collection; not to mention the presence of Rihanna herself, someone who embodies frustration, desire, and obsession. (Surely I'm not the only woman who feels that way about her?)

I'll say it again: Ocean's 8 is as good as the first Ocean's film, and better than its previous sequels. It's brisk and clever, has the twists we've come to expect from the series, ripples with wit, and is filled with excellent performances. And I don't get why, just because it's got a female cast, it has to be more than that.

2 comments:

K'mon Ref ! said...

My wife and her friends watched it last weekend(ladies night out). Her gang enjoyed it and wants to take me to see it. The originals were good, but I want to watch it because of the cast amd premise and not judge it against it the originals.

Rachael said...

i got a text from a galpal and blew off trying to work (this was the day I heard about yet another beloved creative person suiciding so I was feeling low) and went to see it. It was brilliant, I thought. I had just seen the heavenly bodies show at the met too, which enhanced my joy for the movie.