Creating an independent spin-off film of a franchise that has doesn’t have a large appeal is hard to pull off. The Ocean’s franchise ended in 2007 with “Ocean’s Thirteen” with George Clooney and Matt Damon as the lead stars of the ensemble franchise. This new branch of Ocean’s has Sandra Bullock as Danny Ocean’s (Clooney) sister, Debbie. Having a gender swapped franchise is challenging. The 2016 Ghostbusters reboot went the direction of creating their own universe while this version decides to build upon it and evolve it. I feel that this approach of continuing a story/universe but with new characters is more accessible.
The cast is great from top to bottom. I wish they had another male character to balance it out much like Julia Roberts was in the first film. James Corden has a small role but helped round the cast off. Anne Hathaway stands out with her performance. She becomes the stereotype that she has been portrayed as in the media to the nth degree. She brought a lot of fun and charm to the role that the movie needed for an energy level. Rihanna and Awkwafina were refreshing but needed more to do. I liked Cate Blanchett being the second in command of the group that worked well with Sandra’s character. Sandra holds this movie together as the lead and I would definitely be interested in an Ocean’s Nine.
He would’ve loved it.
Some of the problems the film has are mainly due to energy. The heist doesn’t have much challenge to it as it could have done. Though there is the great chemistry on screen with all of the women, there isn’t enough stakes in the first half to set up the next two acts. Thought there is a male character that Debbie Ocean is set on revenge for it didn’t make the urgency enough for me.
I would definitely stay this is a positive direction in making more films with largely female ensembles. The lessons I would take away from this film are A. Have a strong male character to work with the ensemble throughout the film — much like Chris Pine in ‘Wonder Woman.’ B. Make sure the energy is there in either the writing of the film or in the overall direction. C. Move beyond just revenge plots against men. Make it about an entity rather than a gender. But overall as I mentioned this is moving in a better direction to push more female driven stories onto the big screen that all audiences can enjoy.