“Debbie Ocean” (Sandra Bullock) sister of “Danny Ocean” is in jail but plans on getting out on parole, following a tear stained “I have changed” speech.
Promising with voice breaking to stay on the straight and narrow by forging a simpler life, Ocean is within minutes of release, shoplifting and conning flash hotel rooms for the night.
However Ocean has a plan, it does not involve community work and helping old ladies across the road, it’s more in the grand larceny line. An elaborate heist to steal $150m worth of diamonds, at the social calendar event of the year, the Met Gala in New York.
Said diamonds will adorn the neck of self absorbed celebrity “Daphne Kluger” (Anne Hathaway). Ocean and her buddy “Lou” (Cate Blanchett) set out to build an elite all female group to pull off this far fetched caper.
No self respecting heist movie in 2018 can of course be without a hacker, “Nine Ball” (Rihanna). We also add card sharp, watch stealing con woman “Constance” (Awkwafina) and suburban soccer mom and expert stolen goods fence “Tammy” (Sarah Paulson).
Of course we need someone to dress the celebrity and make the diamond necklace a stylistic necessity, enter failed designer “Rose Weil” (Helena Bonham Carter). Finally, someone to sort the diamonds from the zirconia, is “Amita” (Mindy Kaling), desperate to cut her mother’s apron ties.
Of course any movie with fashion aspirations requires a host of cameos and this is no exception, from designers to tennis stars, you cannot order a drink without falling over a minor celebrity.
The story is slight and frankly ridiculous but no matter, this is not supposed to be Dostoevsky, although logic appears to be in short supply, especially the final “twist”.
Bullock and Blanchett muster as much star power as they can and it’s clear everyone is having fun with director/writer Gary Ross, keeping the whole exercise light with tongue firmly lodged in the cheek.
The film goes out of its way to make this very much an all girl ensemble with only a token date (Richard Armitage) and appearance by Oceans regular “Reuben” (Elliott Gould) adding some mild testosterone. We also have a diverse cast which again reflects the need to engage all demographics to secure film finance in 2018. Again a positive step, albeit driven by financial rather than humanistic reasons.
James Corden also gets a few good lines as an insurance fraud expert, searching for the truth, good luck with that.
The film would have been better with a tighter script and story, there are few surprises and no real tension generated. There is some humour but no belly laughs and on occasion the movie feels like it might tip over into style over substance.
A frothy, glossy, slice of female empowerment which suits Friday/Saturday evening pizza or fish and chip night movie fun.
Whilst nobody’s idea of a cinematic masterpiece, this is enjoyable enough and proves again an all female cast can bring the box office. Which ultimately is all Hollywood cares about.