Slick as thieves

Rating: 3

Ocean's 8

by Jason Solomons

Slick and shiny like the bauble they team up to heist, Ocean’s 8 is exactly the fun ride you want it to be.

You might want more but you won’t find it here – somebody’s nicked the danger and tension, jeopardy switched for leopard print. But that’s absolutely fine – you’re supposed to admire the style and the finesse, the look and the immaculate prep that’s gone into the heist. There’s even a line where Cate Blanchett says to Sandra Bullock: ‘Isn’t just knowing the job will work enough – you don’t actually got to do it?’

But yes they do. Wouldn’t be much of movie otherwise. And the stakes are actually pretty high, as well as sparkly. They have to pull off the pinching of a 150 million dollar Cartier pendant – the Toussaint – from the fine neck of Anne Hathaway during the annual Met Gala. just getting a ticket for that dinner is daring enough, though probably not as scary as the thought of being sat next to Dame Anna Wintour.

And so they go through the elegant motions of such movies like a smooth dance routine – the recruiting, the planning, the cross and double-cross, the outfit changes, the switcheroos. no one really gets their hands dirty or even breaks a nail. These girls are too cool, too in charge for that, and the film’s too pleased with itself to be concerned with improbabilities.

If I’d got a cast like this together, I’d be smirking too. Blanchett is game as ever, even if shunted to the background. Bullock, whose face is perhaps the smoothest thing in the whole film, plays Debbie Ocean, sister of Danny, the notorious heister played by George Clooney in the previous Ocean’s movies (it’s interesting they’ve rebooted this female makeover back to number eight: if it’s really successful, I guess there’s room for two more sequels ’til we reach number 11 where the franchise all began). Danny’s now presumed dead, so Debbie, freshly released from five years in jail, picks up the family business having spent her ‘time’ planning this job.

Her recruitment takes in the nooks of new York, visiting the diamond district to pick up Mindy Kaling’s jewellery expert, Amita; the hip-hop hacker played by Rihanna; Awkwafina’s pickpocket rapper; and Helena Bonham Carter’s disastrously in-debt fashion designer, Rose Weil, who’ll have to dress Hathaway’s film star, Daphne Kluger.

Glossy, bossy and great fun, there are some good ideas here for getting free rooms in posh hotels, how to fill vodka bottles with water and how to scam a security camera. And some cool outfits.

Is there anything deeper hidden behind its feminist empowerment? Does there need to be? The fact that it exists is good enough for me and, I suspect, during a summer of watching 22 hairy footballers chasing a ball, this is a pleasingly depilated alternative. Forget the Toussaint necklace – maybe this gang’s real plan was to steal the World Cup.

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