When Debbie Ocean is describing her new plan for a heist to her colleague she says that she doesn’t want to rob a bank simply because that is boring. This describes her character as well as the Ocean’s movies as a whole, a simple heist in a location we all know and have seen before isn’t what these movies were conceived for. They are needlessly complicated and ambitious because that is simply more interesting and attractive.
Said job is getting into a special event and getting a one hundred and fifty million dollar necklace to be worn by a movie star Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) who is hosting the event, stealing the necklace, sell it off and make a profit. Again, just robbing a bank would be so much more simple but also less interesting.
But let’s backtrack. We open with Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) being released from prison and mourning the loss of her brother (who may or may not really be dead), she instantly has a job in mind. She gets in contact with her old buddy Lou (Cate Blanchette), she is enticed and agrees.
In order to pull off the job, a team needs to be assembled, each with a specific set of skills. There’s Amita (Mindy Kaling), an expert in jewellery cutting. Tammy (Sarah Paulson) who is all about shipping hot items. Constance (Awkwafina), a fast-talking, fast hand card player. Nine Ball (Rhianna), a codename for an offbeat hacker. Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), a washed-up fashion designer. Each of them has a purpose to serve and fills in certain character type within the movie.
With movies about plans, a certain chunk of the movie is about explaining the plan to both the team and the audience about how it’s supposed to go. Then it is put into action and either something goes dramatically wrong, something shakes it up, or it only seems to have gone wrong but really it all went off without a hitch. There wouldn’t be much suspense if all went smoothly, at some point, there has to be a piece that isn’t going as they intended.
Director and writer Gary Ross brings a sharp, smooth mentality to the choreography of the camera movement. It slickly moves through the sets and with the cameras and with mostly long takes with a few snappy closeups. This is the way to shoot a movie like this, the characters are confident and talk fast, you want the language of the camera to reflect the well thought out and choreographed nature. If it was handheld and shaky then it would give a rocky, chaotic feel it, which would be a mistake.
You don’t need to see the other Ocean’s movies to enjoy this one. There is a certain amount of emphasis on Debbies brother and if you are at least aware that there are other Ocen’s movies then you’ll get it but seeing them is not mandatory. I myself have only ever seen the first movie (Ocean’s 11) and found this movie stood on its own merits fine.
This movie seeks to entertain by doing things a little grander and with more pizazz. It reinvents nothing and accomplishes nothing to great feats. But there is talent in front and behind the camera and both gel well enough to warrant a watch for fun’s sake.