Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Ocean’s 8


Here we have the fifth “Ocean’s” movie, after one in 1960 starring the famous Las Vegas “Rat Pack” of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop, a group I had very little interest in, though I liked some of them individually. Add in Angie Dickenson and a lot of cameos and a heist, and there you are. Unusually, this was the weakest of the five movies. Stephen Soderbergh directed a trilogy of Ocean’s 11, 12, and {13}} in 2001, 2004, and 2011, and all three were crackerjack heists. It’s really interesting to see the contrast between Vegas in 1960, which looks cheap and tawdry, and today where, whatever you think of the place, you have to admit is pretty dazzling.

Soderbergh wasn’t interested in making more of them, even though it’s pretty certain that with scripts that were decent at all, he could have continued it for a long time to come. He’s not that kind of guy. When it stops being fun for him, he packs it in. Wise choice.

The all-female reboot of Ghostbusters did well at the B.O., and we liked it, though it wasn’t nearly as good as the original. So why not try and all-female Ocean’s movie, starring Sandra Bullock as George Clooney’s sister, a mastermind just as good as the brother? And it all works well. Bullock is backed up by seven fine women: Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, and Awkwafina (who I had never heard of, but who is ethnic Chinese). The heist is appropriately complex and improbable, which is not a drawback in my book if it is done well, and this is. And the heist takes place in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, much of it in the huge room housing the Temple of Dendur, which I loved when I visited, many years ago. The film was nicely profitable, making almost $300 million against a budget of $70 million, so I think we can count on seeing another one.