Susie Poore

There are very few movies I’ve thought were worthy of being seen in theaters twice, and they all have one thing in common: they’re led by strong female characters.  This past weekend marks the second time I’ve seen Ocean’s 8 on the big screen, and I couldn’t have thought of a better way to use my AMC gift card.

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See the Ocean's 8 trailer here!

The film caught early attention in the media for being a continuation of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s franchise from the early 2000’s.  Like the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters with Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, and Leslie Jones, Ocean’s 8 pulls in some big names.  Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Helena Bonham-Carter, and Awkwafina come together to create the clever and talented crew aiming to pull off the biggest jewelry heist in history.

Unfortunately, Ocean’s 8 is also similar to Ghostbusters in that it was partially met with a less than stellar reaction.  Many male fans of the previous Ocean’s franchise bemoaned the choice to make another one of those ‘gender-swapped’ movies.  First their beloved Ghostbusters, and now this?  Oh, how tragic for them.

I’ll be frank; I had absolutely no interest in the Ocean’s franchise until this movie came out.  It seemed like every other male-dominated film series centered around suit-clad men who were clever spies and suave con artists.  I couldn’t imagine women filling a role other than that of the men’s arm candy, and I just wasn’t in the mood to be infuriated yet again.  However, once I saw the news about Ocean’s 8's opening weekend in June and the women who would be at the film’s helm, I knew I had to see it.  I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed.

Sandra Bullock’s character, Debbie Ocean, is the group’s mastermind and the tie to the previous Ocean’s franchise: she’s Danny Ocean’s (George Clooney) sister.  Fresh out of prison, she reunites with her old partner Lou (Cate Blanchett) and proposes the job she’d been running through her mind for the entirety of her five year sentence: stealing $150 million worth of diamonds from the annual Met Gala.  

Together, they assemble an incredibly powerful team of women.  Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), a fashion designer whose fall from grace has left her in millions of dollars of debt, joins the team after another failed fashion show and is the person who will get the famed Toussaint necklace to be brought out of its Cartier vault.  Debbie garners the help of former friends Amita (Mindy Kaling), an experienced jewelry maker, and Tammy (Sarah Paulson), an expert smuggler.

Lou brings in Constance (Awkwafina), a street hustler with hands fast enough to move such an acclaimed necklace, and Nine Ball (Rihanna), one of the best hackers on the east coast, as her own contributions to the team.  Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) inadvertently becomes the team’s final member when her chest is chosen to be the one that’ll carry the six pounds of diamonds into their waiting hands.

I won’t say much more so as to not spoil the entirety of the movie, but I hope the short description I’ve given conveys at least a glimmer of this movie’s greatness.  These women are incredibly witty, wickedly cunning, and undeniably brilliant. There’s the perfect mix of humor, action, and plot twists to keep you engaged for the entire hour and fifty minutes.

Yes, I’ve seen this movie twice in theaters, and I’d see it again if given the opportunity.  Watching these women unapologetically kick ass is something I couldn’t ever get tired of.

These women are incredibly witty, wickedly cunning, and undeniably brilliant.

The men who complained about women ruining the franchise or being unsuitable for these kinds of roles did little to affect Ocean’s 8’s $41.5 million opening weekend. Their only accomplishment was showing their own sexism.  The gender-focused naysayers prove there are still far too many people who think women can’t match the Danny Oceans or James Bonds of the world when that’s nowhere near true.  It’s also insulting considering the most badass people I know are women.

We need more movies like Ocean’s 8 and Ghostbusters which put fearless women on the big screen so they can continue to inspire girls and women like me and remind us of our strength.  I’ve recommended seeing Ocean’s 8 to just about every woman I know, and I’ll continue to do so long after the movie exits theaters.  Move over Danny; Debbie and her team are only just getting started.

 

Susie is a student-athlete at Lehigh University and majoring in both English and Political Science.  She’s aiming to pursue a career in publishing and writing.

 

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