Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty
“Let’s go to Paris’, I wanna rob,” says Nicki (Emma Watson) to her friend Rebecca (Katie Chang) who’s been breaking into Paris Hilton’s and other celebrity houses going on an illegal shopping spree in the dramatic film The Bling Ring.
When newcomer Marc (Israel Broussard) goes to high school in Los Angeles, he’s feeling alone and desperate to connect and make some friends. It seems almost too good to be true when Rebecca takes a liking to Marc and starts inviting him to do things with her. After a party one night Rebecca takes Marc car-hopping, a favorite pastime of Rebecca’s where she checks to see if any cars on the street are unlocked and grabs whatever cash/valuables are inside for the taking. It’s not long before Rebecca and Marc are checking out houses owned by celebrities for a way in to see what they can find. Tracking celebrity whereabouts on the internet, Rebecca and Marc sneak into Paris’ house while she’s at a party and steal a few things after taking a tour of her mansion.
After bragging and showing off her new souvenirs to her friends Nicki, Chloe (Claire Julien), and Sam (Taissa Farmiga), they all want to join in the fun and soon Rebecca, Marc, Nicki and the rest of the gang are tracking the whereabouts of celebrities including Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, and Rachel Bilson, and breaking into and stealing from them while they’re away.
Based on a true story and directed by Sofia Coppola, The Bling Ring is an excruciatingly tedious and bore of a film with one-dimensional performances and an incredibly shallow script. More than half of the film is a montage of scenes of the girls and boy dancing in slow motion, going from houses to their cars in slow motion, trying on outfits…IN SLOW MOTION and so on.
Katie Chang is not very dynamic nor is she charismatic as Rebecca the leader of the young thieves. She has zero on screen ‘friendship’ chemistry with Israel Broussard, her new BFF who she leans and depends on to help her get into the celebrity homes. Emma Watson is the best thing about the film, giving a solid performance as Nicki, the fame-obsessed wannabe teen model who may never actually becomes a famous glamour girl but can at least get a feel for the lifestyle by stealing Paris Hilton’s shoes and outfits. Watson’s portrayal of Nicki in the movie as she is arrested and later interviewed by the press captures effectively the amoral and unethical person she’s playing.
Ultimately, The Bling Ring is nothing more than a monotonous, frivolous, and painful waste of time and money for any moviegoer who makes the awful mistake of paying for and sitting through the film.
The Bling Ring is rated R for teen drug and alcohol use, and for language including some brief sexual references.
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