film reel image

film reel image

Friday, June 16, 2023

The Bling Ring 2013 * * 1/2 Stars


"I hear helicopters". Don't forget in SoCal, they can also be called "ghetto birds". Uh oh, someone's been a bad bad girl (or boy).

OK, even director Sophia Coppola on holiday is better than most directors on holiday. With 2013's The Bling Ring she's not necessarily slumming it, she's just playing with the thinnest of narrative devices. "I wanna rob". Oh of course you do.

So yeah, here's the dirt on "Ring": a group of naive teenagers obsessed with celebrities like Paris Hilton, Rachel Bilson, and Lindsay Lohan, break into their unlocked homes and pilfer them of their wealthy possessions. And the verdict? These juvenile characters aren't really likable, they're made to feel entitled, their personas aren't really fleshed out, and you don't feel much sympathy when they get their Miranda rights read to them. I don't know, despite this flick being based on true events, maybe that was the overall point.

Anyway, The Bling Ring was Coppola's menial project between projects. It's also the second installation from a TV movie in 2011 (with the same title). 2011's The Bling Ring was cut from Lifetime cloth, all appreciable and low budgeted yet highly effective. 2013's "Ring", well it's more on the commercial side, ultra-cool, ultra-lacquered, and made for young actors to noir it up while slithering in Hollywood silhouettes.

Aside from Coppola's cast occasionally venturing into more pristine, Larry Clark territory, The Bling Ring can also amount to nutrition-less slop from a dramatic standpoint. I mean let's think about what actually counts here (when more of something else was needed). A soft-lighted, visual palate, a killer musical score, stealth editing of HS ruffians acting afoul, a breakneck pace via a dispersing ninety minutes, Leslie Mann acting like um, Leslie Mann. Entertaining? Uh yeah but come on, it's more "bling bang" than "bling bling".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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