By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., Chicago Crusader
Talk about girl power!! “Oceans 8,” starring Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean and Rihanna as Nine Ball, along with a supporting cast of other females, is simply marvelous is taking what has been a male franchise and bringing it over to the delicate side. But there’s nothing delicate about these women, who at the behest of Ocean, the recently-released felon sister of Danny Ocean—played in the other “Ocean” films by heartthrob George Clooney—take on the biggest heist of them all—taking a $150 million Cartier necklace that has been loaned for the annual New York Met Gala. Cate Blanchette, Mindy Kaling, Anne Hathaway, Akwafina, Helena Bonham Carter and Sarah Paulson make up the remainder of this slick, conniving crew.
As Ocean sits in prison for five years, she is devising a scheme to bring in the biggest haul ever. When she is released, even though she is admonished to stay away from criminals, she gathers her crew together, one by one, to pull off this robbery. But not before she tests her dormant stealing skills at stores across New York’s Fifth Avenue and secures a free luxury hotel room, with impunity, because she’s a white woman.
There is much computer hacking and strategic movements to be considered, but the taking of the diamond necklace goes off without a hitch. Well, at least not enough disruptions to call off the heist beforehand or to cause too much concern afterward by the crew that they would be identified as the culprits.
Not until talk show host and comedian James Corden appears as the insurance agent for Cartier who is hired to reconcile the theft of the famous bracelet. Things become a bit tricky at this point, but security measures—if you will—that were put into place during the heist ensure that the women remain unscathed.
The “Oceans 8” crew is filled with intelligent women who aren’t afraid to take a shot at the good life, which has been promised to them at the end of this painstakingly calculated endeavor. Compared to the other films in the franchise, which featured stars Clooney, along with Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia, Bernie Mac and Brad Pitt, among others, this film stands on its own merits.
“Ocean’s 8 is such a good sequel that you don’t necessarily need to watch the other parts to know what was going on. That’s important. It’s simply an enjoyable movie and, within the context of the bigger franchise, it’s a badass ode to women who get things done,” said Englewood native Cristalle Elaine Bowen.
Cameos by Common, Serena Williams, Shaobo Qin, Marlo Thomas, Kim Kardashian, Elliott Gould, Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Ashley, Katie Holmes and Anna Wintour, among others, add to the ensemble cast.
“Oceans 8,” with Rihanna’s intriguing computer acumen, Bullock’s die hard commitment to the con, dramatic costumes and artwork that keep your rapt attention, is playing at theaters everywhere. According to news reports, this female caper enjoyed an opening weekend box office bounty of more than $41.5 million.