Review / ‘Ocean’s 8’ (M) ***

IN 1960, Steven Soderbergh gave life to “Ocean’s 11”, a heist comedy-thriller of remarkable fecundity – its core concept has now given birth to a string of sequels telling the same story in different garb.

If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all. The target of the crime changes, the membership of the gang reflects who’s hot at the time on the Hollywood list of suitable actors. How then to inject a bit of freshness into the latest remake? A flash of invention! Create an all-female gang and move the caper to New York and the first Monday in May, when Anna Wintour hosts the best and beautifulest at that must-be-seen-at event, the fundraiser ball in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Ocean’s 8” is director Gary Ross’ first foray into the “Ocean’s…” franchise and which of its two core themes might have taxed his skills more is a moot point. Viewers can play spot-the-celeb among the bling. Or they can wonder when the heist is going to fall on its face and see the long arm of the law put a stop to the fun. Or they can try to sort out the membership of the gang of experts assembled by Debbie (Sandra Bullock), sister of the original Danny Ocean.

Apart from Cate Blanchett as Debbie’s 2ic, Helena Bonham-Carter as a dress designer and Anne Hathaway as the actress chosen to wear the fabulous three-kilo, diamond necklace that’s the gang’s prime target, I couldn’t identify who was playing the lower ranks in the gang and assume that they have made their names in American network TV, which is not something you’ll see me watching.

Of its kind, “Ocean’s 8” is a jolly enough romp, about which nothing matters much if at all.

At all cinemas


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