Sandra Bullock has always been a popular draw at the box office, so it makes sense Hollywood would release a film starring the popular star in the summer movie season. Bullock stars as Debbie Ocean in the new heist comedy film “Ocean’s 8”, and has brought along some famous friends as her co-stars. Cate Blanchett is featured as Lou, Ocean’s partner in crime, Anne Hathaway as air-headed actress Dephane Kluger, Mindy Kaling as Amita, a jewelry maker, Sarah Paulson as Tammy, a suburban housewife with a talent for fencing, singer Rihanna as tech genius Nine Ball, and Helena Bonham Carter as ditzy and fallen-from-grace fashion designer Rose Weil. The ladies are featured in this spin-off from the “Ocean’s” trilogy, and the films connection is Debbie being the estranged sister of Danny Ocean (George Clooney), featured in the trilogy. The film begins with Ocean being released from prison, where she has spent the five planning her next heist. Upon release she reunites with her heist partner Lou, and reveals the plan on robbing the Met Gala, the annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City.
The duo of Debbie and Lou begin gathering experts in various fields such as technology and fencing so they can pull the ultimate heist. Once their group is gathered, the duo convince fashion designer Rose to request the actress she is dressing for the event, Dephane, be allowed to wear the $150 million Toussaint necklace from Cartier. The said necklace is exactly what Debbie plans to steal while the Met Gala is in progress. The security at the Gala is enough to scare off the most seasoned thief, but Debbie is undeterred, and has the same chutzpah as her brother Danny. The ladies all have their assignments for the gala, and the real fun begins when the event is in full swing. These ladies have thoroughly planned this heist, with several of them working at the event. Of course there are the expected challenges involved in such a heist, but due to the brilliance of Debbie, everything pans out for the ladies. Director Gary Ross (“The Hunger Games”) does a masterful job in keeping the intriguing story moving along, while providing each actress with time to shine. Bullock and Blanchett bring their “A” game to the film, and both of their characters are intelligent and elegant. However, Bullock’s and Blanchett’s characters are so polished, Hathaway’s air-headed and self absorbed actress Dephane steals the film from them. Every time Hathaway is onscreen, you are focused on her, which is hard to fathom considering all the star power in this film. I suppose since the actress has portrayed Catwoman on film, she has become adept at stealing more than jewelry.
The film is filled with witty dialogue and wonderful performances from all involved. It’s also a pleasant surprise to see an all-star female led film splashdown in the middle of the testosterone filled summer movie season. This film is the perfect excuse to head out to the theater and enjoy some top notch performances combined with humor, action and wit. While “Ocean’s 8” will never reach the box office heights of the usual summer blockbuster, it’s still worth “stealing” a bit of your time.
(Rated PG-13) 3 1/2 stars