June 29, 2018 – The original Ocean's 11 movie (1960) was famous because of the presence of “The Rat Pack” with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and their buddies. The modern “Ocean's” franchise was born in 2001 when accomplished director Steven Soderbergh decided to have some fun, and make some money with a heist movie set in Las Vegas, along with his friends George Clooney, Brad Pitt and others.
Since that lark of a movie made a lot of money, over $400 million worldwide (reportedly helping Soderbergh finance other, less commercial, films) two more Ocean's films followed before the current one, Ocean's 8, which is like a female Ghostbusters-like reboot was released. Most, not all, of the faces have changed, but the spirit of the Ocean's movies lives on.
This time around, Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) heads up the heist crew as Debbie Ocean, younger sister of the late Danny Ocean (Danny was played by George Clooney in the previous trilogy of Ocean's films) newly released from prison, plots a huge jewelry heist, along with a secret hidden agenda.
Debbie contacts an old crime partner, Lou (Cate Blanchett of the Hobbit movies) to set up the heist. They find a computer hacker, Nine Ball (played by the singer/actress Rihanna) a pickpocket, Constance (Awkafina of “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising”) a fence, Tammy (Sarah Paulson of “The Post”) and a jeweler to break down the jewelry for transport, Amita (Mindy Kaling of “A Wrinkle in Time”).
The target of the heist is an extremely valuable Cartier diamond necklace, that they hope to steal during the annual Met Gala (Costume Institute Gala) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The plan requires the help of inside people, so they recruit a fashion designer in financial trouble, Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter of “Suffragette”) who arranges the loan of the necklace to go with a costume worn by film star Daphne Kluger (played by Anne Hathaway of “Interstellar”) at the Gala.
Like any good heist movie, this one has hidden agendas, misdirection, complications, plot twists and all manner of deceptions and clever plans. Like any overly complicated plan, it is not believable and it probably would not work, but it is fun to watch anyway. A key part of the plan is to have women do most of the vital interactions with people at the gala, based on the theory that security men and others tend to overlook women, particularly those in subservient roles, and that women tend to be underestimated.
All the characters are so busy with the heist, there is no time for character development, but that is not what this film is about. It is not deep, but it is fun to watch. It does have a bit more of an edge to it than other Ocean's films, since there is an element of revenge in it. This film rates a C+.
One thing I couldn't help but noticing in this film is how good Cate Blanchett looks in it. Her looks have changed so much, it was not easy to tell it was Blanchett I was looking at. There are rumors that the 49-year-old actress, and mother of three, has had plastic surgery. She denies the rumors. Whatever she is doing to improve her appearance, it is working. She looks better than ever.
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