> cMusicWeb.com > Movies > Bandits

Looking for something new? Our latest news and articles are at inReview.net

[ bandits ]


advertise here





Bandits - Click to view! BANDITS (2001)
Starring Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett.
Directed by Barry Levinson.
MPAA rating: PG-13

Bandits probably wasn't a movie you jumped out to the local googolplex to see. In truth, the film is so obscure, your scribbler isn't sure it was ever in theatres—although it must have been. Nonetheless, it is a film that you need to view on video—one of those treasures lost in a sea of blockbusters that should find a home in your VCR for at least one night.

Starring Bruce Willis (who, despite an 80's hairdo and less than impressive track record, turns in a respectable performance) and Billy Bob Thornton, this is the story of two oddly matched, but rather talented bank robbers who attempt to burglarize a series of lettuce repositories in order to finance their retirement in Mexico. The two are in prison as the film begins—their first obstacle—and stumble awkwardly through their early scenes. They escape in a ridiculously easy manner, and the adventure begins.

The first heist is achieved by holding hostage a bank manager and his family--in their home—on the night before the event. This, of course, allows them to pick the brain of a man intimate with the nuances of the building they hope to plunder. This is a frequent practice of theirs, and so are dubbed the "Sleepover Bandits."

Nonsensical is the fact that this duo (who picks up an accomplice to drive the getaway car later in the movie) doesn't get caught. They opt not to conceal their faces, and instead disguise the rest of their bodies. Naturally, their faces are recognized from surveillance video, and soon become media darlings. They are so loved that, one night, a jovial old lady bank employee welcomes them into their home, saying "Oh, you're the sleepover bandits. Well come on in. Let's get this thing started." The thinking man would roll his eyes, but the charm of the characters is such that the rest really won't care.

The trio soon becomes a foursome as a discontented housewife (she hits Thornton's character with a car) enters the mix and becomes a love interest for both thieves. Played adequately but without distinction by Cate Blanchett, she is most interested in figuring out what she wants in life, and finds an acceptable medium through which to figure it all out in this crime spree.

She ends up sleeping with both men, and a small (but dispassionate) rivalry ensues.

The ending is rather complex, and will lose you for a second (if you're as dim as I), but won't be revealed here.

The characters in this film—especially the brainy hypochondriac played by Thornton—are truly engaging, and will leave the viewer thoroughly satisfied. The chemistry between Thornton, Willis and Blanchett is spotty at times, but is a joy when they click. The burglaries later in the scheme are mercifully free of most detail, and the plot is well thought out.

Though vulgar at times (several profanities are used), very mildly violent, and unfortunately marred by adulterous sex, this is a film definitely worth seeing for viewers over age 13.
- Ben Forrest
May 2002
Articles written by the staff.
Maintained by WebMaster Dan Ficker.
Site Design by da Man
All Material © 1999-2005 Different Media LLC
Support cMusicWeb.com