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i feel the problem with oceans 8 is that its trying to imitate soderberghs style without his talent on focusing on people rather than events (in this case, what leads up to and what happens during and after a heist). so instead of something more character-driven and something that explores the characters and their motivations on why they would commit a heist, you get a collection of eccentric personalities coming in and out of a narrative about a heist. and i just could not care about any of them. not even sarah paulsons character, and i usually feel that if sarah paulson plays every character in something (e.g. bird box, american horror story: the specific season doesnt matter), that specific thing can be made more entertaining. (that said, she couldnt also play james cordens character john frazier? why is corden still in things? ugh.)
the heist goes without a hitch. theres no tension from the start of the heist until the necklace is successfully stolen (and the necklace itself treated poorly throughout, to my horror). ive seen people praise the movie for not having conflicts between its characters, but to be honest, this movie couldve used some moments of doubt and insecurity while the heist was happening. and a few conflicts between the characters—not over petty things, but whats happening with the actual heist—would be an effective way to reveal character and motive, and to keep the characters feeling less like cardboard cutouts.
and the heist itself is absurd. the trouble the crew gets in to attempt to secure a place at the met gala (which probably wouldnt have worked, anyway) is one level of absurd. the fate of the targeted necklace in this movie is another. the “happy” deus ex machina ending tacked on to the ending made me want to scream in frustration; what was even the point of the met gala heist in the first place?
but getting back to the met gala heist, if this crew really insisted on committing this heist during the met gala, why not con your way in by befriending a fashion designer and attempting to convince the designer and those in charge of the met ball that youre important in some way? i dont know, say youre an ex-governor of some state or something. or, like, use your rihanna-doppelgänger character to get into the gala pretending to be rihanna. that could work. i mean, its not like these specific characters are going to think about finding some way to not get identified while grabbing a necklace and running with it, anyway. nine ball is literally working out of an open food truck where you can probably see her on two desktop computers during the met gala heist, so *shrug.*
absurdity of this heist aside, theres nothing that sells this movie except for who was actually cast for it. its great “turn the tv off, listen to a podcast instead” viewing.
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