Ocean’s 8

Ocean's 8

This jewel heist caper chapter is much more paste than polish.

Now the idea of an all female version of the snappy Soderbergh series is dandy and so, too, is the collected cast. Sandra Bullock stars as Debbie Ocean (Danny’s sister: he, allegedly is dead, but none of us really believe that, do we?). Just spring from the hoosegow, Debbie’s got a plan. Comrade Lou (a very underused Cate Blanchett) thinks it’s a good one. And, along with teammates Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, and an impressive Rihanna, the Ocean’s in motion to steal a mega diamond necklace at the Met Gala. That’s when a loose and funny Anne Hathaway shows up, along with a handful of stars in cameo, and the fun begins.

But, alas, it never really does. Writer/director Gary Ross follows the plot lines and conceits of the earlier films, but never captures the slick, irresistible fun. Sure, it’s great to see women in what had been originally male roles, but hardly anybody seems to be having the same kind of fun the guys (or Julia Roberts) had. We watch as they conceive the plan, even pull it off, but we’re just watching, not invested enough to really plunge in and care. I would have loved to have seen Bullock with the teensiest of twinkles in her eye, or even have some of the women relate to one another with even an ounce of emotion. The clothes are nice, even if they aren’t photographed as lovingly as they should be. And the celebrity cameos at the Gala are cute. But the most compelling part of this one, for me, was trying to figure out how Blanchett sees anything through those wispy long bangs. Otherwise, this one feels only like a cubic zirconia copy of what had been a glistening original.