Ocean’s 8- Movie Review

Credit: Warner Bros.

Ocean’s 8 is the newest movie in the Ocean’s franchise that started with Ocean’s 11 (2001), starring George Clooney, and this one stars Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean, the sister of Danny Ocean from the originals. It’s about her pulling off a heist in which she has to steal a diamond necklace from the Met Gala off of Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway). The team she recruits includes Sarah Paulson, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, and Mindy Kaling, among others.

I have pretty mixed feelings about Ocean’s 8: it’s an overall light, entertaining movie with good performances and interesting camerawork, but its predictability and lack of suspense drag it down.

Overall, the performances are great. Sandra Bullock does a great job as the star of the movie. She really sells her character and is fun to watch onscreen. Anne Hathaway is funny and gets more than just one dimension to her character. She seems like just a superficial villain, but gets more to do in the plot. The rest of the crew all give solid performances and play up each of their personalities well. The character interactions are also super fun to watch. They play off each other well, and the group has good chemistry that makes the central heist more entertaining. Their dynamic and chemistry is crucial to the movie, and luckily it works really well here.

Credit: Warner Bros.

However, none of the characters get much development or dimensions to their character besides maybe Anne Hathaway’s character. All of them are entertaining, but still feel very one-note. Debbie Ocean gets some backstory, but besides her and Daphne, there’s not much to the characters.

Visually, Ocean’s 8 is stylishly shot, has good costumes, and a very polished look overall. It almost imitates Steven Soderbergh’s style from the original, but given how good-looking his camerawork was there, it’s not really a complaint. The framing of some shots is clever and goes with the slick feel of the movie overall.

As far as the plot goes, the heist section is entertaining for the most part, but it lacks a lot of suspense. There are barely any obstacles for the crew to face, and there was maybe one moment in the actual heist where i felt tense. Everything else goes exactly to plan for the crew, which loses any sense of suspense in what’s supposed to be a thrilling, exciting heist.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Additionally, there’s no real villain in the movie. There’s no one to root against, like Benedict from the original Ocean’s 11, and this removes any motivation for the heist. The other reasons that the characters are doing it aren’t well explained, and the lack of a drive makes it harder to care about the heist.

Ocean’s 8 doesn’t really subvert your expectations either. It’s very reliant on the heist movie formula and feels too similar to the original to stand out. Some aspects of the movie are switched up, but it’s pretty predictable in most parts. It also requires a bit too much suspension of disbelief at some points; while this can be expected from a heist movie, this movie gets very unrealistic in one specific part.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Overall, Ocean’s 8 is a breezy, but definitely flawed heist movie that can be very entertaining, but lacks substance. It’s well-shot and mimics Steven Soderbergh’s style from the original, which is a big bonus. The performances and chemistry of the crew is all great, with Anne Hathaway as a big standout. However, the movie fails to do much new with the franchise or genre and comes up short on the original in terms of its suspense and villain.

Rating: 6/10

Ant-Man and the Wasp – Movie Review

Credit: Marvel Studios

The sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man, and again directed by Peyton Reed, Ant-Man and the Wasp follows Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), on house arrest after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Ant-Man and the Wasp is a pretty self-contained story, and introduces Evangeline Lilly, who reprises her role from the first movie, this time as Ant-Man’s partner, the Wasp. Also present are her father, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Scott’s daughter Cassie Lang (Abby Ryder Fortson), Luis (Michael Peña), and Michelle Pfeiffer as the original Wasp, Janet van Dyne.

Paul Rudd brings his all and definitely entertains as the charming Scott Lang, but the way the film portrays him a bumbling idiot underplays his supposedly smart, clever character. All the performances ranged from good to great, but the writing for the characters couldn’t do the acting justice. Evangeline Lily was solid as the Wasp and she gets plenty to do, but similar to most of the characters in this, never really grows at all.

Credit: Marvel Studios

 

The entire movie is spent in search of one plot device, and once that’s found, the plot turns really, really lazy and uses the generic science rules it establishes early one to resolve a major conflict (a more significant among the countless subplots, none fully explored) within moments. Personally, this left a bad taste in my mouth for the remainder of the movie.

Fortunately, the humor works yet again, and the jokes are more rapid-fire than in the first. This abundance of quips does mean that they’re less sharp and don’t hit as hard as in the original, but some sequences, especially with the yet-again hilarious Michael Peña, really did make me laugh. The supporting cast now includes Laurence Fishburne and Randall Park in minor roles, but while both get a few gags to work off of, the plot doesn’t serve either of them too well.

Credit: Marvel Studios

The action is entertaining enough and the visual effects work well yet again. The film utilizes its VFX to make the most of its premise, and the shrinking effects are a ton of fun. There are a lot of sequences, where, while the action might not stand out, the premise is utilized in creative ways to make it more fun, similar to the first.

The movie has two “villains” and the common argument used in defense of them is that they’re shown as “antagonists,” but they’re really played up to be mustache-twirling, MCU-mediocre villains and the movie doesn’t give them nearly enough to do. One is literally carrying the plot of the film around in a truck and the other gets a exposition dump and the audience is expected to be on board with her character from there. Neither get nearly enough depth or genuine plot work to make us care about them, and scenes with them on, if Paul Rudd’s signature charisma and humor weren’t there to keep them from sinking, are a slog to sit through.

Ant-Man and the Wasp, while admittedly, a very fun surface-level movie, offers little other than that exactly, and its forgettable writing makes it pale in comparison to its predecessor.

Rating: 6.7/10

Credit: Marvel Studios