Having never seen any of the previous Ocean’s films I cannot compare this all ladies entry into the series to what came before. That being said I would be willing to bet it is pretty much what you have come to expect. No better, no worse.
Like her last name would lead one to believe, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock – Speed, The Proposal), sister of deceased con man Danny Ocean, can run a con like no one’s business. Or she could until she let her heart cloud her judgement. Falling for Claude Becker (Richard Armitage – Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) of the art world and running scams with him leads to Debbie being thrown in jail after Claude threw her under the bus. When she is released after over five years in prison she not only wants to get right back on the criminal horse, but engage in some payback when it comes to her former love.
With an intricate plan in mind of how to steal the extremely valuable diamond necklace off the neck of world renowned actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway – The Devil Wears Prada, The Dark Knight Rises) at the Met Gala, Debbie assembles a crack criminal team comprised of her right hand gal Lou (Cate Blanchett – Carol, Blue Jasmine), jewel expert Amita (Minday Kaling – from television’s The Mindy Project), fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter – Fight Club, The King’s Speech), hacker Nineball (Rihanna – Battleship, This is the End), fencer Tammy (Sarah Paulson – 12 Years a Slave, The Post), and pickpocket Constance (Awkwafina – Bad Neighbours 2, Storks).
While there are some fine moments in the film of which most have to do with the elaborate plan or Rihanna, it is rather a miss when it comes to character development or originality. Most of what happens here happens without any background established or is nothing that you have not seen before.
Sure, there are a whole bunch of very watchable women onscreen here. Most of us would pay money to see either Cate Blanchett or Sandra Bullock or Helena Bonham Carter or Mindy Kaling or Sarah Paulson by themselves in a film. Then there is Rihanna, a woman most would thrust bamboo shoots under their finger nails for. All that should add up to something more. Something of substance. Something different. Something with a wow factor. There was nothing of that sort here.
The high point of the film for me (other than just watching Rihanna) was trying to identify all the stars in the Met Gala scenes. Stars like Heidi Klum, Kim Kardashian, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Common, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Katie Holmes, Gigi Hadid, Hailey Baldwin, Anna Winatour, and Olivia Munn.
I feel a little awful writing this but….I think the casting agent and director – Gary Ross (The Hunger Games, Pleasantville) – have found the perfect role for Anne Hathaway. She is great as the self-absorbed, annoying actress. Type casting??? That is for you to decide, but she certainly is believable in the role.
Despite the fact that this is a crime thriller there were precious few thrills to be had. I think it is great that they are doing films of the sort with all-female casts. Just wish they would give them a story as complex and well thought out as the heist plan in this film.