Just a thought… I will do comedy until the day I die: inappropriate comedy, funny comedy, gender-bending, twisting comedy, whatever comedy is out there. [Sandra Bullock]
Happy Friday! I told you that today’s journal would be a diversion from the angst of the latest Ontario election season, and I’m keeping that promise. I can’t lie: I gasped when I checked the news on my phone after seeing Ocean’s 8. But it didn’t affect my thoughts on it, and my main criterion: would I recommend it to you? So, here we go.
Featuring an all-star cast, including Sandra Bullock (as Danny Ocean’s sister Debbie), Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Anne Hathaway, Awkwafina and Helena Bonham Carter, this movie had me hooked with its trailer months ago. So when I saw we had a chance to catch it a day before its official opening today, I leapt.
Basically, it’s about a team of thieves who set their sights on a $150 million necklace during the glamorous Met Gala. (There’s some boyfriend backstory, too, thrown in for good measure.) Produced by the original director of the Ocean’s trilogy, Steven Soderbergh, Ocean’s 8 is directed this time around by Gary Ross of The Hunger Games fame, so it certainly has the fingerprints of the original testosterone-coated Ocean’s films. What it’s missing is the excitement.
Although Anne Hathaway’s high-strung actress role is a gem and former Les Mis castmate Helena Bonham Carter stands out in a few spots, too (as she always does), I wouldn’t classify 8 as a comedy. Sure, there were a few laughs early on – the Bullock goes “shopping” scene is memorable – but it sets you up to hope for more.
Maybe this should be a thriller of a movie, thanks to the heist plot, but it just…isn’t. There are moments where you think, Oh, here we go! but it doesn’t really rev high enough to change gears. Not once did I feel like we were kicking into high speed. It was all just kind of planned, the pieces put into place and then…well, I won’t spoil anything for you. (It does have a couple of clever plot twists towards the end.)
Was it a good movie? Sure – good enough. Light and breezy summer fare, certainly, (and plenty of eye candy at the Met Gala itself, from a fashion-and-star-gazing perspective) but not nearly as funny as, say, The Book Club.
Yes, Ocean’s 8 will open at number one this weekend and I get that. But I just wish it could have lived up to its trailer, or even its potential. With a cast and a franchise like this, a summer breeze should have been a sizzler.
Have a great weekend and I’ll be back with you here on Monday.