Have you seen Ocean’s 8 yet? The latest instalment of the iconic Ocean’s series is estimated to hit a box office gross of over $300 million this summer, making it one of the most popular heist movies of all time, and just a stone’s throw away from the success of the start of the trilogy, Ocean’s Eleven, which itself had grossed over $400 million since its release back in 2001. This latest episode in the series, which follows a clique of professional criminals who conduct slick, scarcely believable heists involving billions of dollars, made headlines long before release due to the fact that this is the first Ocean’s film, and indeed one of the first ever heist films, to contain an all-female cast.
With international superstars such as Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway and Rihanna heading the cast, opinion has been divided in the media over whether this represents a high water-point for feminism or is simply a publicity stunt. Either way, this high-octane film represents a turning point in the history of the iconic American heist film, for a number of reasons.
The Future is Female
As mentioned, the main talking point has been the all-female cast, but that shouldn’t detract from the astonishing talent on display in this film, with all the cast members delivering sensational performances. More importantly, this represents a wider trend in the film to include a greater degree of female representation, and showcase the suitability of female actors to traditionally “masculine” roles such as combat and crime. This kind of representation is more than welcome and has been long-awaited in Hollywood, and you can expect to see leading ladies continuing to fill top roles in heist movies in the future, as audiences clearly respond well, both to the welcome representation and to the endlessly-watchable acting on the show.
A Heist Film for the Tinder Generation
Plenty of Hollywood producers have tried their best to lure in coveted millennial audiences with awkward references to current trends and developments, often coming off as awkward and under-researched. Ocean’s 8 hits the nail on the head though, with incredibly sharp references throughout to the pressures of the modern app-based dating scene, and of course some witty references to the stereotype of millennials documenting their every move on social media (all lighthearted of course). The previous Ocean’s films are casino movies above all else, a genre that isn’t exactly known for keeping on top of the latest trends, despite the technological advances of the casino industry itself, with people more likely to be enjoying casino games via their mobile phones than by hitting up the bright lights of the Bellagio. Ocean’s 8 is different, though, and has brought a typically old-school genre into the modern age, and created a heist film that today’s youngsters can really get behind.
Singers Can Rob, Too
Whatever you think of her music, you probably have something to say about the pop superstar Rihanna making a leading appearance in the film. Despite the long tradition of singers trying to act and being critically panned for their attempts to do so, Rihanna plays a compelling role and has received due praise for it from the critics, potentially marking a major turning point for music stars being taken seriously on film. More importantly, she appeals to exactly the kind of young demographic the producers are so clearly trying to target.
Regardless of what people were expecting, Ocean’s 8 has done very well at the box office, and the success and massive attention garnered by this boldly different latest instalment could change the way heist movies are done forever.