Having spent 5 years in jail, Debbie Ocean (Danny Ocean’s younger sister) gathers an all-female crew to pull off one of the biggest jewellery heists in history.
Danny Ocean’s criminal minded sister, Debbie, has finally made her debut. After having been stuck in jail for the past 5 years, she has devised a master plan to rob the MET Gala during the event of the season. Having seen only the first Ocean’s film way, way back in the day (*gasps ensue!*), I won’t be comparing it to the original trilogy, but more how it does as a standalone film!
The story begins with a very well rehearsed sob story on how she’s changed and just wants to live the simple life. Pan to the next few minutes… within minutes of leaving she has successfully tricked multiple store attendees and walked away with a new wardrobe and makeup. I’m not sure whether you would actually be able to do that in real life though. Having worked in a store I’m not sure what’s sketchier, the lack of observation from the staff or the fact that Debbie tries to get a refund without a receipt and then weirdly asks for a bag when she’s declined. Regardless, it’s a genius move and the way she gets the hotel room is very deceptive.
The next section introduces us to the crew and how they all come about to know one another. Lou (Blanchett) is Debbie’s old partner in crime and is selling watered down vodka in a club. Still very much in the mischief business, she’s excited but somewhat reluctant at the idea of robbing the MET Gala, especially when she realises how much security is in there and how much is at stake. But, when the cut is upwards of $15 million you don’t say no do you? I’m pretty sure I’d risk going to prison, hell I’d take those 5 years in prison, for the opportunity to have $15+ million!
Making their mark with actress Daphne Kluger (Hathaway), they set out trying to convince fashion designer Rose Weil (Bonham Carter) to dress her. Weil owes hundreds of thousands of dollars and drastically needs to get out of debt, so of course, she can’t say no to such an opportunity! As I said, the risk of prison is probably worth it when it’s that much money and you’re speaking to someone who is a criminal mastermind (almost).
Once the initial step is in play, we are introduced to 9-Ball (Rihanna), a master hacker; Tammy (Paulson), a housewife that can’t help but steal truckloads of products; Amita (Kaling), the expert jewel replicator who needs to get away from her mother’s grasp; and Constance, an insane sleight of hand thief.
Before I get to the heist section, I just want to take a moment to appreciate how incredible this cast actually is. Helena Bonham Carter does an insane Irish accent and as always, owns the screen. Many people complain about those that cross platforms, but Rihanna is really enjoyable to watch on the big screen (RE: Valerian). Also, Anne Hathaway is the single most aggravating character in this film and I love that. When you compare it to her other films, she plays the dumb, pompous celebrity very well even when it’s such a contrast to who she is as an actual celebrity.
Now the heist, I won’t give it away as to how they carry it out/what happens after but it is so clever. Everything is so thought out and planned to almost the second. The magnet, the ‘poisoning’, the old ladies, the Vogue job and even things like the kitchen staff! The way that it all plays out is very well done and you really want to watch to keep finding out how their plan is going to work. I must admit, there were parts where I was waiting for it to fail, could it really all go fluidly? Even though it wasn’t 100% fluid, the genius behind it all was exceptionally well done.
I like to think of myself as someone who pays attention and notices things in films, but I really did not expect the plot twist at the end. I will admit, that earlier on in the film I was surprised that certain characters weren’t involved sooner, but I’m so glad that my original perception was wrong.
One thing that really worked with this film, is that they didn’t try to follow on too much from the Ocean’s films. There are characters in there that were obviously in the original trilogy, or were at least mentioned but you didn’t necessarily need to know about them to follow what was going on. They made Debbie a standalone character and her story is just as interesting to follow. One thing the filmmakers should definitely be commended for is their ability to finish a film that is a comfortable one-off, but whilst also leaving it open enough for more if necessary. But, in my opinion, although I really really enjoyed this film, I think it’s better off by itself!