The Bling Ring – Film Review
Everytime I read the title my mind automatically defaults to saying “The Blang Rang.”
Is that racist?
Or is it racist to attribute improper pronunciation to a race?
Tumblr SJWs, help me out.
TL;DR The Bling Ring is vapid as fuck. It has nothing to say that you couldn’t get from reading the Wikipedia article about the actual Bling Ring. I only came to see Paris Hilton’s house. Which is kind of what the characters were doing, too. Maybe that’s what it was all about? 2 out of 5 stars.
It gets 1 star for Paris and 1 star for being a Sofia Coppola movie that I was actually able to get through.
The plot is a re-enactment of the Bling Ring, a bunch of overprivileged fuckhead teenagers who robbed celebrities’ homes because, as it turns out, that’s really easy. The movie follows Marc, the boy of the group (gay, natch), as he meekly tries to claim some sort of moral authority over the other members, particularly the Asian one, who is the leader. After the authorities start noticing what they’re doing, our team of savvy burglars continue their crimes and brag about it to their peers, which shockingly results in their arrest. They get what they deserve.
Except Taissa Farmiga‘s character, who is strangely omitted from all the legal proceedings.
I should probably disclose that I am not a Sofia Coppola fan. The only one of her films I’ve seen is The Virgin Suicides, and that was quite enough for me, thank you.
Regardless, I was under the impression that she generally took on challenging, provocative, apparently meaningful projects. Not so here.
The Bling Ring is typical of unambitious “true story” movies. All they do is show you everything you’d know if you did even the most fleeting of research. This one is worse, because the Bling Ring was pretty fucking big news only 4 years ago, which I’m sure even Emma Watson’s Harry Potter follower tween fans would be aware of.
The cast do their best to show off the apathy of disaffected, affluent youth, but they’re just telling us something we already know.
Why I hate this movie:
I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I expected more of a Sofia Coppola movie. Jesus.
Emma Watson was the biggest drawcard of the movie, and that reputation is unfairly earned. Her character is largely incidental to the movie (Marc is the main character, Asian is the ringleader). It comes off as just an exercise for Emma Watson to work out the finer points of Valley speak.
Her character is also an unlikeable trashbag full of rancid cottage cheese. That was the intent, but still, she’s shit.
Marc is frustrating from the other direction. He get saddled with having the “being responsible” arc, but his crumbling under peer pressure and weak attempts to stop Asian are pathetic. I didn’t care what happened to him. He was hesitant from the very first, minor burglary they performed. He knew what he was doing and chose to keep going. Fuck off.
The kids are insanely stupid. They get caught because they brag about their conquests to some acquaintances at a party, who then tip off the police once the news story gains momentum. Add on the fact that they don’t goddamn stop the burglaries when the story’s developing, and you’ve got no reason to give half a shit (and my shit is very valuable. Because it doesn’t stink) about these idiots.
Leslie Mann is the mother of Emma Watson and Taissa Farmiga’s characters (Taissa was adopted or something), as well as another, younger daughter. She home schools them, like any low self-esteemed former trophy wife. This comes off as endearing, until she reveals that her teaching philosophy is based on The Secret. Good god, how are you still alive with that mindset?
I’m having Gossip Girl flashbacks with these high school students going clubbing regularly. A crooked nightclub owner helps them out, but I find it so unrealistic. Is it an American thing?
The film shows the age of its material, because in this universe, Paris Hilton, Audrina Patridge and Rachel Bilson are still relevant (sorry, Paris. You know it’s true).
Asian tries to play dumb when the cops come calling. Shouldn’t have kept those Paris nudie shots then, honey. Dipshit.
Oh, and Taissa plays with Megan Fox’s gun at one point. These kids really do have something wrong with them.
But it’s not all bad:
The only admirable thing the kids do happens off-screen and is never directly addressed: nobody sells out Taissa. Everyone involved in the burglaries (even the nightclub owner, who didn’t do the burgling himself) gets arrested, except Taissa. It turns out she was never properly captured on any of the security tapes. Despite that, you’d think at least one of them (particularly “let’s make a deal” Asian) would have tried to flip her for leniance. But no, she never gets picked up. Maybe there is some honour among thieves.
The real feature of the movie is Paris Hilton’s actual house, which she let the filmmakers use. It’s amazing. Honestly, given the opportunity, I would have broken into Paris Hilton’s house just to see it. Fucking magnificent. I do have to wonder what she actually does with that nightclub room, though.
And they steal some fucking quiche shit. The beautiful life, indeed.
They say “I know, right” a lot. I mean it. Mean Girls lives strong.
Best line of the movie goes to Emma: “I wanna rob.” The delivery is the perfect encapsulation of her apathy and entitlement.
She steals the end of the movie with her efforts to parley her story into actual fame.
Leslie’s character seemed nice, despite her brain death.
I liked the blonde girl. She was fun.
They all get punished. Marc and Asian get 4 years; Emma, Blondie and that random guy get 1 year. Sweet justice.
Being the only one who fill fit in them, Marc steals some of Paris’ shoes, and actually wears them while lounging around at home. I lol’d.
It’s incredible that these celebrities just left their houses empty and unlocked. Life is stranger than fiction.
Paris herself (and Kirsten “will you stop calling me now, Sofia?” Dunst) appears briefly in da club. Authentic.
Oh, and I’d like to believe otherwise, but I’d probably have been totally into breaking into those houses. I might have even taken some stuff. I would have stopped before it reached the fucking $3 million mark. And not bragged about it. And not left a Facebook trail. And not kept going after the story had broken.
If the movie’s goal was to be as vacuous and distanced as the characters themselves, then I’d have to say it’s a roaring success. But just because a cactus in my wig was supposed to be a cactus in my wig, doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. 2 out of 5 stars.