When news first arrived that we’d be getting an all-female spin-off of “Ocean’s Eleven”, the majority of movie fans braced themselves for the worst.
There was nothing inherently wrong about the idea of Sandra Bullock playing the sister to George Clooney’s character from the original franchise reboot – in fact, that always seemed wonderfully fitting, considering the two actors’ respective positions within Hollywood.
The fear, though, with this movie coming so soon after the utter garbage fire of fan outrage that accompanied the new “Ghostbusters”, was that “Ocean’s 8” would end up kicking off another internet comment war. It seemed like we were going to have to sit through the same horrendous arguments that we got last time.
Whether or not we’ll get this explosive anger from certain members of the online community remains to be seen, but “Ocean’s 8” has at least one thing going for it: the trailer looks so distinct and unique that it’ll be hard for fans of the original movies to complain that this new instalment is merely aping the style of an already popular film formula.
Sure, there are elements here that feel familiar, but this doesn’t feel like an attempt to merely piggyback on the success of an existing franchise.
With a few names changed, this wouldn’t need to be an “Ocean’s” movie at all, and it seems that the connection here is purely cosmetic. The trailer shows off a very different cast of quirky characters, who all feel fresh and unique in their own way.
It’s impressive just how much personality is crammed into this first look at the film. Each member of the heist team sparkles with their own identity, origin, and backstory. We all expected Helena Bonham-Carter to play a quirky role of some sort, but everyone from Awkwafina to Sarah Paulson, are instantly likeable and – notably – relatable in their own way.
Perhaps there’s a benefit, particularly in a trailer scenario, from pairing down the eleven or so characters of the George Clooney era to a far more digestible eight.
There was always a fun appeal of seeing eleven of Hollywood’s biggest stars appear in the same movie in previous instalments in this series, but in a two-hour movie, it’s just too many people to keep track of.
Eight still seems like a lot – we have yet to see where some of these characters will fit into the narrative, and it’ll be difficult to give each one a satisfying arc – but if even in the trailer, a few of these heroes are able to shine, it’s worth assuming that the movie will justify everyone’s presence.
This trailer feels like a bolt of fresh air in a movie landscape that’s increasingly dominated by unambitious sequels and reboots. By taking things just a little further away from the formula of the older movies, “Ocean’s Eight” promises a film that pays homage to what has come before without bashing audiences over the head with references to previous movies.
At least, that’s what it looks like from the first trailer. We’ll have to wait and see whether the movie actually makes good on everything that’s promised here.