BY GREGORY GAROFALO
With all the talk about being an innovative and ambitious heist movie, Gary Ross’ Ocean’s 8 plays everything so safe that the only thing missing is the bubble wrap. Now I want to be up front and say I was excited for the movie, I wasn’t rushing to get to the theater, but I love a good heist movie and the cast looked great.
And when the movie started with an homage to the opening of Ocean’s 11 parole scene it was fun. We follow Sandra Bullock being cunning and charming as she gets a cashier to unwittingly help her rob a department store and then swindles her way into a hotel room. The problem was the movie never ramped up from there. The pace stayed more, or less the same and the characters never got to really know each other.
Now the movie wasn’t terrible, by any stretch, but with a star-studded cast and a fun premise this could have been incredible.
I wanted the movie to dive in and show us what made each of these characters unique, instead I sat through passable jokes, a predictable plot and bland characters.
There wasn’t much in the way of team ups, or personalities clashing, they just rolled in, had some fun and stole a necklace. There wasn’t much at stake, nothing really surprising and the heist never seemed to go wrong.
The movie had literally everything going for it! It had the fun setting, the stellar actresses, a low tech heist and an awesome location, it could have been absolutely fantastic.
One of the biggest missed opportunities in my opinion was Sarah Paulson’s character Tammy, the retired stay at home mom. If you missed Tammy’s intro scene, you would have no idea she was a mom, which is a bit of a dissapointment. Why not have her pack snacks for the heist, make sure the women are wearing sunscreen, or cause a distraction with her son’s toys? The movie has a MOM on a heist, something that is inherently hilarious, and they do nothing with it.
Now I get that the studio probably didn’t want the backlash of a terrible all women cast, but the groundwork was already there! Nothing about the film was terrible, just lackluster.
At the end of the day it’s just a movie, but it’s frustrating because there are countless creative and independent filmmakers (including myself) who would have loved to direct this movie, and try and make it great.