Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Bling Ring (2013)(Minor Spoilers Review)

**This review contains MINOR spoilers, no major reveals or twists**

As the new kid in school, Marc (Israel Broussard) is looking for acceptance and new friends. Marc is trying to fit in at Indian Hills High School in Calabasas, California. Rebecca (Katie Chang) befriends Marc, and Marc is introduced to Rebecca’s inner circle at a night club.

Marc meets Nicki (Emma Watson), Chloe (Claire Julien), and Sam (Taissa Farmiga), and as time passes, Rebecca lures Marc into her world of thievery. Rebecca teaches Marc all the essential tricks for car jackings, and Rebecca accepts Marc as a partner during her celebrity raids.

To feed her obsession with living a luxurious lifestyle, Marc assists Rebecca during a series of burglaries. Rebecca targets the homes of her idol, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Rachel Bilson, and other famous celebrities living in California. Marc draws up the plans to track the targeted celebrities using social media, and Marc is able to locate each address using various search engines on the internet. As time passes, Nicki, Chloe, and Sam join the crew, and each member of Rebecca’s crew proudly flaunts stolen merchandise, while basking in the glory of being an A-lister.

After a close call at Paris Hilton’s house, Marc struggles to control his paranoia for a lengthy prison sentence. Nicki and Sam’s exploits fly under the radar, because Laurie (Leslie Mann), the legal guardian for Nicki and Sam, is more focused on trying to provide a positive and healthy lifestyle during home schooling sessions. Uncontrollable greed from Rebecca, Nicki, and Chloe could ruin everything, and the group is forced to deal with a serious issue, when local news stations broadcast security camera footage from a string of recent robberies……..

Character wise, Israel Broussard’s Marc is the only one, who’s truly different here. He’s the shy and quiet new kid, who’s stuck in a shell, until Rebecca cracks it open. The “shy teenage outcast” character is nothing new, but Broussard’s performance is decent enough. Everyone else? Yeah, Rebecca and the female members of her crew are spoiled, rich suburban kids, and of course, they showoff exaggerated hood personas every now and then.

Although, if I had to pick a stand out star from this cast, I would go with Emma Watson. Watson’s hilarious performance as this pompous phony is so fun to watch, and she provides some great laughs towards the end. And Leslie Mann’s screen time is limited, but she delivers an enjoyable performance, as the perky and religious mother figure, with an unwavering conservative attitude.

Too many one-dimensional characters are a big problem for The Bling Ring. As I said before, with the exception of Marc, the VAST majority of the main cast is loaded with a bunch of spoiled and bratty thug wannabes. Towards the very end of the film, the story reveals more info for Nicki and Sam’s backstory, but that’s about it.

Why should I hate, dislike, or care about Nicki, Rebecca, Sam, and Chloe?  Okay, they’re stealing, because they’re obsessed with living a famed lifestyle. That’s obvious enough, but The Bling Ring never gives the audience a thorough and in-depth look at the main character’s personalities. The bulk of the group is stuck in a shallow mold, so it’s almost impossible for anyone to stand out.

It’s almost impossible to not feel a little bit of sympathy for the victims here. Greedy and delusional teens are stealing their property, and either way you choose to look at it, that’s just wrong. On top of that, The Bling Ring tugs on your “This could actually happen in real life” thought process. Marc is able to track the celebrities whereabouts with tweets, Facebook posts, articles on the internet, and Marc easily locates the houses with a simple internet search by typing in the name of said celebrity. The Bling Ring offers a realistic POV for the dangers of revealing too much personal information on social media outlets, and you have to feel something for the people, who constantly live their lives under a giant magnifying glass.

The Bling Ring isn’t Sofia Coppola’s best film, and when you consider the real life source material, The Bling Ring should’ve provided a more grandiose experience. Still, The Bling Ring is an entertaining comedy. The laughs are fairly consistent (i.e. Marc’s obsession with wearing pink heels from Paris Hilton’s house), and Emma Watson delivers one of the best performances in her young career. The Bling Ring could’ve been a better film, but it’s worth a watch, if you’re a fan of Emma Watson, or if you’re curious about the real life events that inspired the movie.

Rating: 6/10

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