Monday, June 11, 2018

Ocean's 8 (2018)

I suppose there are only so many ways you can do a heist movie.  They tend to be formulaic, almost like Hallmark movies.  The formula usually starts with one person hatching a plan and assembling the right team.  They’ll need someone to crack a safe or someone to infiltrate security.  Maybe they’ll use someone in disguise.  They might have an inside person.  They’ll almost always need someone to fence the merchandise.

The second phase is usually the preparation.  The team has to go over the plan.  They get any supplies they need, like vehicles.  They do any prep work.  There’s usually exactly one major setback when someone discovers something has changed.  It’s usually a critical detail, like the type of vault has changed to the one vault that can’t be cracked.

Once that’s out of the way, the third phase begins, which is the actual heist.  This is where everyone pays attention.  The well-orchestrated plan usually goes off with maybe one or two hitches.  Someone has to improvise, creating tension, but they always pull it off.  (Even when it seems that they don’t, it might mean that it was all part of the plan.)

Part four is the aftermath.  This is where the characters will sell off any items that aren’t cash and split the proceeds.  We’ll also get to see any of those details that we missed.  There may be a few lingering details, like getting rid of the police, but these points are usually minor.

Ocean’s 8 focuses on the sister of Danny Ocean, one Debbie Ocean.  She has been planning a heist during her time in jail.  She’s had five years and eight months to work out the details.  Her plan is to steal diamonds that has been in storage for several decades.  She gets Cartier to put the necklace on the neck of unsuspecting actress Daphne Kluger, who can then be led into a bathroom where the team can steal the goods.

In some respects, this is almost the very definition of a sequel/remake/spin-off that I hate.  There’s a very cookie-cutter feel to it.  The question becomes if the ingredients will be enough of a difference.  There are a few tense moments, but you always get the impression that it’s going to work.  (Well, it worked in the other three movies.  Didn’t it?)

The main characters also seem to work naturally together.  Each one has a reason for wanting to do this.  A few even have to be mildly goaded into doing it.  I never felt like any of the characters were out of place or unnatural.  And yes, it’s an all-female team doing the heist.  I’m glad not to have heard much in that respect.  It really didn’t matter.  I will say it was fun to watch James Corden as the insurance guy.  He played the part perfectly.

My only question is why Danny Ocean couldn’t have been in this movie.  We get a few reprisals of roles from the original trilogy.  (A trilogy based on remake, it’s worth noting.)  The movie has Debbie visiting her brother’s mausoleum early in the film.  He apparently died in 2018, prior to the events of the film but long after the events of the previous one.  Is this to say that there’s no going back?

At least the movie was entertaining.  I never felt bored or as if I was rewatching the other movies.  (This may have to do with the fact that it’s been so long since Ocean‘s 13.)  I think had I not had Moviepass, I may have waited for this to come out on DVD if I saw it at all.  I may not have really taken a chance on it.  As much as I like the actors, there’s always that fear that it’s going to be too much like the previous movies.

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