Ocean's Eight

****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Ocean's 8
"Violence and testosterone have been swiped in favour of mind games and dangerously seductive evening gowns" | Photo: Warner Bros

If you remember the Pierce Brosnan version of The Thomas Crown Affair you will know what to expect from this latest in the Ocean franchise. Add a cast that looks so good you have goose bumps thinking about them and then there's the plot that makes the Missions Impossible seem stuntified when all you need is a semblance of credibility, clever tricks from street trained petty crims and the coolest nerves from your front line ladies.

Let's talk nutshells. Debbie (Sandra Bullock) leaves prison after five years. She's Danny's (George Clooney) little sister although he's coiled his mortal and won't be dropping by for a peek-a-boo cameo slot. She was stuck in chokey for a framed piece of business and has revenge on her mind as well as setting up the theft of the century.

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She gathers together a team, each of whom has a special skill. At first she thought banks and then decided too boring. What she's after now is a diamond necklace, worth $150million, locked away in Cartier's vault in New York and protected by state-of-the-art technology and older blokes in dark suits from Security.

So far, so been there.

Heist movies are about the how, not the why. Like the best detective stories you work backwards. The necklace is out of the vault, around the neck of a famous actress (Anne Hathaway) at the most fashionable evening of the year at the Met's annual gala.

That's all you need to know. The rest is carried out by The Team (Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling) and it's this carriage of the out that gives the film its style.

No one is claiming originality. What you get is something quite rare in action pictures, an ensemble that fits together like a well oiled Glock. Is it the women's touch or the scriptwriters' cunning that achieves this?

Violence and testosterone have been swiped in favour of mind games and dangerously seductive evening gowns. Has tension been sacrificed on the altar of entertainment? A little, perhaps, but this isn't sweaty guys tunneling through concrete, it's Blanchett on a motorbike and Bonham Carter being vague and eccentric in a curly wig.

The glamour is as complete as the pleasure. But wait! Don't assume it's dusted when it's done.

There's a twist.

Where?

In the tail.

Reviewed on: 13 Jun 2018
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Danny Ocean's estranged sister attempts to pull off the heist of the century at New York's star-studded annual Met Gala. Her first stop is to assemble the perfect all-female crew. Her second is to keep them in order

Director: Gary Ross

Writer: Gary Ross, Olivia Milch

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Richard Armitage, Elliott Gould

Year: 2018

Runtime: 110 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US

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If you like this, try:

The Thomas Crown Affair