SPOILERS for Ocean's 8 ahead.
Ocean's 8 is a continuation of the Ocean's Eleven trilogy, but it features an all-female cast - and the film perfectly explains why that's necessary for this story. Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven hit theaters in 2001 and became a hit with fans and critics alike, earning enough success for not one, but two sequels: Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen. Now, Gary Ross has revived Soderbergh's franchise with a new spinoff focusing on all-new characters in Ocean's 8. Like the Ghostbusters reboot, Ocean's 8 features an all-female spin on a concept that previously featured a all-male, or mostly male, cast.
Ocean's 8 follows Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), the sister of Ocean's Eleven's Danny Ocean (George Clooney) - who has seemingly passed away prior to the beginning of the movie. In order pull off a heist of her own, and get revenge on the man who led to her being in prison for five years, Debbie assembles an all-female team. Along with her friend Lou (Cate Blanchett), they recruit fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), jeweler Amita (Mindy Kaling), Debbie's old friend Tammy (Sarah Paulson), hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna), and pickpocket Constance (Awkwafina). Their goal is to steal a Cartier necklace off celebrity Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) while she attends the Met Gala in New York City.
When it was announced, Ocean's 8 seemed to be part of a trend in Hollywood where studios take a classic or well-known property and revive it with an all-female cast - whether through a reboot, like Ghostbusters, or a spinoff, like Ocean's 8. In the case of Ocean's 8, there's a reason for the all-female cast built into the main heist storyline, and it's key to the job. While assembling their team, Lou suggests a male hacker, but Debbie shoots down the idea because they need all women. As she explains, they're robbing the Met Gala - often called "fashion's biggest night out" - and it's one event where women will blend in, while men will stand out.
As viewers learn later on in the movie, the women on the team infiltrate the event as members of the staff or guests, and then change into couture dresses in order to each smuggle pieces of the necklace out without being detected. Since there are many more women at the event than men, it's much easier for the team to blend in and pull off their heist - offering the perfect explanation for why Ocean's 8 needed an all female cast.
Of course, it's likely the writers of Ocean's 8, Ross and Olivia Milch, reverse-engineered the heist so that it needed all women to pull it off. Meaning, they decided they wanted to do an all-female take on Ocean's Eleven and figured out a heist that would necessitate an all-female team. Whether that means the story and the heist are as exciting as Ocean's Eleven is up to the viewer. Still, reviews for Ocean's 8 have largely praised the cast, and fans may like to see them join forces again. If Ocean's 8 proves to be a success at the box office, perhaps they'll return for another heist.
- Ocean's 8/Ocean's Eight (2018) release date: Jun 08, 2018