Fun, fashion, fabulous, fierce, forgettable. Just a few F’s to sum up this star studded girl-power instalment in the latest Ocean franchise.
Unfortunately as a heist film it doesn’t do what heist films do, I didn’t feel thrilled by what was happening, I didn’t think the stakes were high enough, I didn’t believe the characters. That for me was the problem with this film is that it all felt like an episode of Ugly Betty (not a bad thing, but not what I want from a heist film). A bit too glam, a bit too fake and a bit too cheesy. It all just felt a little flat, which is a huge shame because the cast are actual queens of the screen. When you think that Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham-Carter and Anne Hathaway are some of the biggest and best names in Hollywood it really does feel that the film just didn’t live up to the potential of the names attached to the film.
The film itself is a very important movement for feminism in Hollywood, obviously there is a lot of talk about an all female film not making money, well Ocean’s 8 has already made 100m. However as great as it is that the cast are all female and that it passes the sometimes dubious Bechdel test there are two reasons why I think it looses its message of female empowerment. One, the director is a bloke. I think it would be very refreshing and needed to have female directors, stories about women told by women. I don’t want some middle aged white guy directing women, I want a woman directing women. It’s really not hard for Hollywood to do this. Whilst the representation on screen of women might be improving with the help of this and the rebooted Ghostbusters film and others, behind the screen, is there that same movement and representation? Another problem I had was that the real aim for her to do this heist, other than money, was to get back at her ex, a man. Does a man really need to be the motivation for her? Yes she made money on the side, but I think the film really sets out to make it look like that was the real aim. I don’t know if the film needed that, it needed a side motivation, but I think they could’ve found a different reason to that.
A film with a great cast, apart from the ever appearing James Cordon, a straight-forward story but with a lack of thrill, laughs and entertainment. The making of the movie and what it can hopefully do for females within Hollywood will hopefully have a more lasting impact than the film will have on the viewer.