Girls have fun in same-old story.
Ocean's 8 (12A) .....
The infectiously entertaining first Ocean's movie - well, technically second as it was a remake - was the epitome of cool.
Sadly the sequels went over similar ground in lazier, less effective style and by the time the trilogy came to an end in 2007 it was probably best for all involved.
Reboot rumblings have been rumoured for years, though, and Warner Bros eventually chose to go down the Ghostbusters route with an all-female central cast.
The numbers have also been cut by three but other than that and the gender reversal, we're on similar storyline ground as Sandra Bullock's Debbie Ocean, sister of George Clooney's Danny, puts a crew together to attempt a revenge-fuelled heist at New York City's Met Gala upon her release from prison.
This familiarity, along with series tropes of split-screen shots and a jazzy soundtrack, initially feels comforting but then you come to realise that this reboot has nothing new to say.
That's not to say Ocean's 8 is a total loss - far from it. First and foremost, the diverse cast are a whole lot of fun. From a neat opening that sees her con her way out of prison and into a fivestar hotel, Bullock is a worthy successor to her on-screen sibling.
Cate Blanchett (Lou) exudes stylish calm, Helena Bonham Carter plays slightly against type as ditsy fashion designer Rose, Anne Hathaway (Daphne) pokes fun at her real-life persona and Awkwafina almost steals the film as deadpan hustler Constance.
Faring less well are an under-utilised Mindy Kaling (Amita), Sarah Paulson (Tammy) and Rihanna (Nine Ball) and Gary Ross and Olivia Milch's screenplay doesn't get under the characters' skins.
We don't really know too much about any of them and while you can believe Debbie and Lou are old buddies, they're missing that Clooney-Pitt magic from the original trilogy.
Ross, the man who launched The Hunger Games by helming the first flick in that series, also directs and while one of his cast does utter the line "a him gets noticed, a her gets ignored", he doesn't make a big deal out of the octet being all-female.
He let's them be their own group of crafty criminals and wisely, despite pre-release speculation, keeps nods to the previous Ocean's movies to a minimum.
The heist itself is thankfully a relatively simple one that's easy for the audience to follow, unlike the labyrinthine goings-on in the increasingly silly and complicated Ocean's Twelve and Thirteen.
But while it throws up a couple of surprises, the final 20 minutes, which include an out-of-place James Corden as a fraud investigator, feel tacked on.
Ocean's 8 is a very serviceable, enjoyable and harmless reboot worthy of its place in the franchise.
Sadly, though, it's lack of dramatic tension means you'll probably forget you've seen it the next day.
Schemers Blanchett (Lou) and Bullock (Debbie) plan the heist
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|Publication:||Stirling Observer (Stirling, Scotland)|
|Date:||Jun 29, 2018|
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