Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) just spent five years in prison, and she’s angry. A con woman who takes pride in her work, she can’t wait to get back in the game. But she’s also out to get revenge on a former partner in crime (Richard Armitage) who set her up.
Of course, if she can also make a lot of money, so much the better. And to do that, she’ll need to assemble a team. With the help of her old pal Lou (Cate Blanchett), Debbie enlists the services of down-on-her-luck fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), gifted jewelry maker Amita (Mindy Kaling), unparalleled tech genius Nine Ball (Rihanna), stealthy pickpocket Constance (Awkwafina) and shady suburbanite Tammy (Sarah Paulson).
The plan is to stage a heist during an exclusive gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Their target: a diamond necklace valued at $150 million and presumably beyond the reach of thieves.
Essential to the plan’s success is manipulating Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway), the gala’s guest of honor, into wearing the necklace. Considering Daphne’s vanity, that shouldn’t be difficult.
Still, there’s always the chance of something going wrong. And Debbie would rather not land back in the slammer.
“Ocean’s 8” — a spinoff of the crime comedy franchise that starred George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon — starts off as a freewheeling romp, but becomes so preoccupied with the specifics of pulling off the heist that it loses its spark.
Working from a screenplay that he co-wrote with Olivia Milch, director Gary Ross (“Seabiscuit”) delivers a film that’s curiously joyless. Unlike Steven Soderbergh, who directed the previous “Ocean’s” films, Ross lacks the necessary lightness of touch. Instead of soaring, the film is disappointingly earthbound.
The charismatic cast can’t be faulted. Bullock and Blanchett are more than credible as crooks, and Hathaway is delightful as the self-absorbed Daphne.
Unfortunately, “Ocean’s 8” turns out to be a poor showcase for their talents.
What “Ocean’s 8” • 2½ stars out of four • Run time 1:50 • Rating PG-13 • Content Language, drug use and suggestive content