Ocean’s 8 is slick, fashionable and sadly; predictable

Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett in Ocean’s 8

“Girls rule, boys drool” – schoolyard saying

“There’s only one thing you love, Danny: that’s danger. Cliffhanging. You could never love a woman like you love danger” – Angie Dickinson as “Beatrice Ocean” in the original Ocean’s 11

Should it have been titled Ocean’s 14?  After all, this film is not a prequel to the George Clooney/Brad Pitt et al trilogy that did very well at the box office.  It takes place in the present, beginning with “Debbie Ocean” (Sandra Bullock – Our Brand is Crisis) being released from prison.  She spent the five plus years behind gray bars planning a major heist.  She’s going to steal the Touissant, a necklace that consists of six pounds of diamonds.  Its value is estimated at $150 million.

But this isn’t a heist that can be done by one person.  Her partner-in-crime “Lou” (Cate Blanchett – The Monuments Men) doesn’t want to do this job, but Debbie Ocean can talk almost anyone into almost anything.  Just like her brother.  So they assemble a crew to do the job.

“Amita” (Mindy Kaling – This is the End)  is an expert jeweler who wants to get out from under her mother’s roof and thumb.

“Constance” (Awkwafina – Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) is a streetwise pickpocket and con artist.

“Leslie/Nine Ball” (Rihanna – Battleship) is an incredibly talented hacker.

“Rose Weil” (Helena Bonham Carter – Les Misérables) is a designer whose career has fallen on hard times and who owes millions to the IRS.

“Tammy” (Sarah Paulson – 12 Years a Slave) is a suburban housewife who sells stolen stuff out of her garage. She’s got the connections to fence the loot after it is successfully stolen.

I know, I know, counting “Debbie” and “Lou” that is only seven members of the ‘crew.’  You’ll have to see the film to find out who the 8th thief is.

The scheme revolves around getting Cartier to allow the Touissant out of its basement vault and to the Met Gala, by having actress “Daphne Kluger” (Anne Hathaway – The Dark Knight Rises) wear it with the gown designed especially for her.  That’s why they contacted Rose Weil and convince Daphne that it was her idea to use the ditzy designer.  That in and of itself was a neat trick.  The other difficulties they run into along the way are interesting and handled by Debbie and crew with ease and aplomb.  The two top-flight security guards assigned to shadow Daphne while she has all those diamonds around her neck, the new clasp securing it there and of course the bank of security cameras covering almost every inch of space inside the Met.

The list of famous folk making cameos as guests at the Met Gala is long and distinguished.  Dakota Fanning, Olivia Munn, Heidi Klum and Jaime King; to name a few.  The costume designs, production design and the “authenticity” of the Met Gala setting work well together.  “John Frazier” (James Corden – Begin Again) is an insurance investigator who doesn’t care of the thieves go to jail.  He just doesn’t want his firm to have to pay out over $150 million.  All he wants is to get the diamonds back.  Debbie planned for that contingency as well, and she has a patsy to feed to John.

The planning of the heist isn’t quite equal to its execution but the interpersonal relations between the larcenous ladies make up for that shortfall.  I’d love to see a sequel.

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