Ocean’s Eight released its first image today and the backlash has already begun. Apparently, taking the concept of a male-dominated movie and doing the female version of that gets certain people in a tizzy. In case you were wondering what this inflammatory image was, check it out:
Scandalous! Outrageous! Clearly a terrible idea! If those are your reactions to this, we need you to tell us how the entire movie plays out. Because you’ve seen it, right? You must’ve in order to have solidified such a strong opinion of the film.
Oh, you haven’t seen it? Wait, nobody has seen it yet? But that would mean that any reaction to the film at this point is based solely on conjecture, speculation, and preconceived notions. Ohhhh…
The Cult of Reaction
We live in an age where there is an entire cottage industry based around people reacting to things. It’s a bizarre and frankly pointless endeavor for the majority of things. Watching a jump scare video? Reactions make sense. Seeing how people react to the trailer for Baywatch? Who cares? Why not ingest certain news or media on your own and form your own unique reaction?
On that subject, Ocean’s 8 has fallen prey to the same reactionary effect that Ghostbusters did. Granted, Ghostbusters was not a great film, but it wasn’t the travesty the haters made it out to be (again, before they ever saw it). Without even factoring in the potentially sexist angle (though that certainly exists), it’s actually a much broader issue than that. It’s a matter of people formulating opinions so far out that they become dug in. They don’t give themselves the opportunity to be surprised or open to something great.
First Impressions Are OK… When You Have Something Impressive
Look, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have an opinion about things. I have critical opinions about the Han Solo movie and we haven’t even seen an official image yet. But that doesn’t mean I’m cutting myself off from the potential of loving that movie. Regardless of my preconceived notions about the Han Solo movie, I’m not going to cut it off at the knees. At the same time, it’s OK to have a very cursory reaction to something like a title announcement. Doesn’t mean it will reflect positively or negatively on the finished product.
It’s pretty silly to formulate a strong opinion on something when you have so little to go on. Heck, even trailers aren’t great vehicles for information because they may sell you a completely different movie than you eventually get (*cough* Godzilla, Suicide Squad *cough*). It’s best to keep your expectations grounded and minimal. You’ll probably end up liking more things.
The Potential is Excellent
As it stands, all we can really go off of for Ocean’s Eight is the talent involved. And the talent is excellent. The cast is full of heavy-hitting actresses and director Gary Ross is a clearly diverse filmmaker (you don’t get much more drastically different than The Hunger Games and Pleasantville). Could it fail? Absolutely. But at this point, there’s no reason to believe it will. It’s not like the production has been incredibly troubled or the film has been reconfigured heavily in post-production… like Rogue One was.
Really, there’s no point in having a staunch opinion on Ocean’s Eight or any upcoming production until you’ve seen it. It’s fair to say you’re interested or disinterested, but that shouldn’t stop you from potentially loving something. Fandom is built on being passionate about an endless variety of topics. Give yourself the chance to be passionate about Ocean’s Eight. Right now, it’s not worth it to be upset at something so nebulous. With all the horribleness going on in the world this very instant, getting upset at an upcoming movie is a waste of anger.