|Bandits (2001) (Dol)
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Chemistry and quirkiness--and a stellar cast--help make Barry Levinson's Bandits more than just another comedy about ill-matched outlaws. Levinson's deft touch in Rain Man is evident in the film's road-movie structure, which follows bank robbers Joe (Bruce Willis) and Terry (Billy Bob Thornton) on a crime spree from Oregon to California. They're eventually joined by an aspiring stuntman and getaway driver (Troy Garity, son of Jane Fonda) and a neglected housewife (Cate Blanchett) who falls in love with both Joe and Terry after escaping her boring marriage. As scripted by Twin Peaks alumnus Harley Peyton, Bandits shifts from character comedy to crime thriller with reckless abandon, and the humor (particularly Terry's multiple neuroses) is occasionally forced and flat. Levinson compensates with offbeat moments of unexpected tenderness, allowing his cast to express depths of character not necessarily found in the script. A twist ending won't surprise attentive viewers, but it gives Bandits the extra kick it needs. --Jeff Shannon
- A keeper
Willis, Kate and billy Bob make a great trio of misfits. After watching it three times I had to by it. I laugh every time its a classic for me....more info
It was an interesting effect to show part of the end of the movie at the beginning, then explain the story. The actors were excellent for the part. Very entertaining. Humor, not gruesome, and unexpected ending....more info
- Extremely Funny!
This is an excellent movie. I don't understand how it didn't get better attention at the box office.
Billy Bob Thorton is crazy as a hypochondriac who is also afraid of antiques. Bruce Willis is charming, as always. Even though they are criminals, you just find yourself rooting for them.
This movie is well worth buying. I'd give it more than 5 stars if I could....more info
- I endured this movie.
Rarely do I regret watching a movie. This was one of those rare cases. This movie takes two hours for an overly simple plot to develop while having to endure the irritating and extremely campy portrayals of two of the three leading roles. The Terry Collins character tried to come across as a nonchalant, clever, yet paranoid sort of guy, but Thornton's acting was annoying and un-endearing. Blanchett, as 'poor me' Kate Wheeler, wants to claim a sense of pity from the audience, but never manages to pull you in and doesn't seem to be much more that a shallow-thinking ditz. This role was not worthy of her talents and was disappointing to watch. Bruce Willis was the only positive aspect of this movie. His well-known suaveness and coolness were conveyed very well through his character, but it was not enough to save this movie....more info
- funny and entertaining!
funny smart comedy. I loved the ending. don't want to spoil it for you if you haven't seen it yet. two thumbs up!...more info
Rare is the movie that manages to make me stop watching before its conclusion, "Bandits" however managed the feat quite successfuly. The story was boring, the acting was bland and failed to make me care about any of the characters.
Clean your house, go to the gym, read a book, whatever you do it will be a better use of your time than watching this film....more info
- what a hoot!!
I LOVED this movie. My husband and I watched 3 or 4 times in one week. It's smart, funny and such a surprise. I didn't know Cate Blanchette was so funny. Loved it beginning to end. I would recommend this to anyone. It's got a little something for everyone.
"Oh, I think I feel an illness coming on, my arm is going numb......"...more info
- Quirky chemistry, excellent acting
All three of the leading roles in this movie are superbly acted. Willis and Thornton play roles very different from the other ones I've seen them in, and they have a delightful on-screen chemistry. In the movie, the viewer sees how they both need one another and how they can despise the idiosyncracies of eachother. The fact that they both love the same woman (the oustanding Blanchett) just adds to the drama.
All of this wonderful love triagle is set behind a raucous bank robbery plot. These guys are the darn nicest, friendliest bank robbers ever, and I was rooting for them the whole time! It's always a sign of a masterful storyteller when they can make you root for the bad guys.
I can't think of any movie to compare this to. I wish there were more like it. This film was underrated, in my opinion. I own it on DVD and everyone I show it to enjoys it, but seems to have missed hearing about it when it was in theaters. Check this one out and enjoy yourself!...more info
- Hometown boy makes good film
Of course, the "hometown boy" is Baltimore's own Barry Levinson, director of such Baltimore movies as "Diner" and "Tin Men" and though Baltimore does not play any part in this movie, this film is great.
Joe (Bruce Willis) is working on anger management. Terry (Billy Bob Thornton) carries around his own Merck Manual to self diagnose his various ailments. Kate (Cate Blanchett) is stuck with an unfeeling fish of a husband and sings Bonnie Tyler songs. This improbable trio come together to make this film terrific. There is no false note, no wasted scene, no gratutious camera mugging - it all flows together to make a wonderful trip.
Joe and Terry become the "Sleepover Bandits", as their modus operandi is to basically take the bank manager's family as hostage the night before the heist. By using that method, they can rob the bank without worrying about police or gung-ho security guards. Along the way, Kate hits Terry with her car and winds up taking him back to the robbers' headquarters. She decided she doesn't want to go back home and goes on the run with the bandits. Somehow along the way she falls in love with both Terry and Joe. But there's a big problem - now the bandits are seen as kidnappers and the police are looking for them. They decide to try a different approach for a robbery, one in which they stick up the bank in the more traditional manner. Since they both love the same woman _and_ they are not using their tried and true pattern, many things go wrong...
and if you want to know more, get the video - it's an excellent film you will really enjoy....more info
- A soggy rehash of a lot of cliches with very few sparks.
There have been enough heist films to do a weeklong twenty-four seven film festivals with no repeats. Playing at 4 am on Tuesday morning, you'll find Bandits, a take on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, with post-Sopranos psychological drama, but light and fluffy as any comedy. The real gift of a lot of crime pictures is their ability to make us care about the con men who feature. The good crime films bring enough charm and righteousness to the criminals to make us root for them. So if a film in this genre is to succeed, it must make us like the heroes.
Bandits on the other hand, features Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton as two convicts doing time in the pokey. The former is sort of a zen redneck who fluctuates between incredible smoothness and hippie vapidity. That's either the character or Bruce himself, it's hard to tell which. Thornton, on the other hand, is an uptight, anal-retentive hypochondriac who prizes himself for his brains.
One day in the yard, Bruce Willis steals a cement mixer, and gets Billy Bob to jump in with him at the last minute as he rams the gate while prison-guard ammo bounces like hail from the vehicle. A high-speed chase ensues in which the fugitives evade the law, switching up cars every two-minutes of filmtime. In need of money, they hold up a bank and escape with a lot of loot.
At last, they have a moment to breathe, having successfully escaped another round of police. "What will we do?" asks Billy Bob. "I have a cousin in Mexico," says Bruce. Like the proverbial Canadian girlfriend, we never meet this cousin, but the two bank robbers hang their hopes on going south of the border at the end of their capers to buy a nightclub and run it in style.
But first, they need more money, and so they begin a brilliant scheme of robbing banks by kidnapping the bank manager the night before the heist, sleeping in their generally nice houses, and then going to work with upper management early in the morning to empty the vaults before the bank even opens for business. The scheme works for them, and, in fact, they gain national fame as the "sleepover bandits." As usual, the nation falls in love with them. Since the nation does, the viewer doesn't have to. I didn't feel the compunction myself. Nothing is to keep the pair from running off after a heist or two, thus ending the crime spree and the movie. The movie, therefore, has Willis behave as a spendthrift so that they have to keep robbing more banks in order to bankroll their escape from the country. This continued crime spree necessitates, in turn, extremely sluggish law enforcement.
Director TK uses the good trick of simply not having any scenes with cops in them in order to forestall the conclusion that the police are simply not trying to catch these guys. The other thing is that a red herring, a new plot, rather, is introduced in the form of Kate Blanchet as Kate.
Kate is a wild-hearted woman married to a man who is so insensitive as to be unmistakably fictional. She runs afoul of Billy Bob when he tries to carjack her and she plows into him. Threats of violence do not dissuade her from getting involved with Bruce and Billy. With nothing left to lose in life (after all, if your marriage is passionless, what else is there possibly to live for?) Kate is not afraid and winds up in romantic involvement with the smoother side of Bruce Willis.
Willis has another friend, too. This guy drives their getaway car, but he's an amateur special effects stuntman. Which proves to be a very handy hobby later in the movie. Billy Bob is unhappy that all these other people are getting involved, and he gets antsy and whiny until a heist separates the quartet and Billy ends up with Kate, and not just as two passengers in a stolen car. Kate somehow finds Billy's sniveling highly attractive. Being a confused woman, she confuses self-pity and neurosis with sensitivity. She decides that Billy is actually a sweet guy, not a hair-trigger nut with bad luck in clothing. The script doesn't delve into her demons that cause her to fall in love with Billy, though.
Instead, it delves into what happens when the love triangle's sides all meet. Friction, that's what. But it's a happy ending whereby Kate convinces the two bandits that she can't choose between them and wants them both. Nothing graphic happens between the three. That would put this movie in the ground-breaking realm of a pic like Y Tu Mama Tambien. Instead, the relationships cool way off, but remain in a generally triangular shape.
Anyway, how can a movie spend so much time (and I mean so much time) on relationships when it has a big finale to build up to? And yet, this film manages that, and more. Bobby Sleighton does a lot of camera time as the host of a popular reality teevee show about criminals. He actually is kidnapped by the sleepover bandits and given an interview at gunpoint. This lets a lot of backstory and exposition come out in stylishly shot MTV/Blair Witch looking footage. The movie actually spends quite a bit of time on television, which is just so interesting to note how influential television is. Come to think of it, what could have helped Butch Cassidy more than if it had taken place when there was television and the two robbers could have seen their faces on a store-window television just before jumping off that cliff?
Incidentally, do I live in the wrong town or what? I have not seen televisions in a store window in about 20 years in any town in the United States. I'm travelling to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Denpensar, and Singapore later this month, and I'll keep an eye out, though.
Finally, something big and exciting happens. It's not as clever as the end of The Sting, but few things are. Instead, we get a sort of ars poetica, a statement on the art of filmmaking embedded within this film. You could look at it that way. Or it could just be the easiest path to a happy ending for these characters that at least the U.S. of the movie itself cares about.
In so many words, I guess I'm saying that I thought this movie deserves a lot of credit for trying....more info
- Clever, quirky, action-packed fun
Don't listen to what anyone else says. You've got to give this movie a chance. I did, and completely LOVED it! If you've got a penchant for clever, quirky, action-packed films you'll probably agree.
The script is brilliant, the plot is unique and entertaining, and the characters are all very likeable. Billy Bob Thornton gives a fantastic performance as Terry Collins. And, for once, we can appreciate a Bruce Willis action-movie that entertains WITHOUT all the blood and violence that is so typical of many of his other movies. Cate Blanchett is an amazing actress. If you watch her interview in the bonus feature, you won't believe it's the same person that plays Kate Wheeler in the movie. WOW!
Make sure to watch for "Beavers and Ducks!" -- arguably the most hilarious line in the entire movie....more info
- bandits review
It was outstanding in all aspects. Great product and very fast delivery
Randy in Portland, Oregon...more info
- "Total Eclipse of the Heart..."
I LOVED this movie the first time I saw it. I bought it as soon as it came out on DVD. The second (and each time after it) around the movie isn't quite as good as it was that first time; but lots of movies are like that. However, I still love the movie and I think you will find it enjoyable too. Definately worth your time....more info
- Watchable film!
This sincere tribute to Sundance Kid thirty years later in the middle of the urban jungle works out with singular efficency due the spontaneus organic chemistry between Norton and Willis as a pair of robbers bank who bet for a new and better life in Acapulco: the golden dream, the paradise in the earth.
This picture rides between the tragedy and the comedy with surprising sucess due perhaps to a witty script that comtains clever twists of fate. Maybe the announced ending from the first minutes of the film was somehow an anti climax, because since this point you will assist to a real chronicle with the common story, from his unexpeceted and never planned getaway and the casual appearance of the lovely and talented actress Cate Blanchet, one of the top ten in the world. She displays a sharp sense of humor as the desperate wife of an boring executive in search of new emotions, imagine on a distant cousin of Geena Davis in Thelma and Louise.
The story is carried on a premonitory interview twenty four hours before ... and so the dramatic facts are shown through this curtain. Levinson shows once more a discipline and astonishing rapport through the comedy. He is not known precisely by this profile, exactly.
Far from pretending be a masterpiece the film works out as an entertainment vehicle to have a good fun and nothing else. But the Sundence Kid paradigm is undoubtedly its highest merit. ...more info
- Don't watch this movie unless you want to laugh...
It's very hard to find a good comedy that, like yaakov98 down below says, doesn't succumb to gratuitous sex, violence, and foul langugage. Most comedies are about a laugh an hour this one kept my whole family wanting more at the end. I suggest you don't listen to any of these reviews and just watch the movie for yourself. You wouldn't be reading this if you didn't want to.
Billy Bob Thorton has the funniest lines in this movie....more info
- Really BORING
I Heard that this was supposed to be a really funny and action packed movie well its no except for maybe 2 secenes it is really boring and lacks a good plot do not buy this it is a waste of money!!!!!!!!!...more info
- Both funny and entertaining
Joe (Bruce Willis) and Terry (Billy Bob Thornton) are too funny as they become known as the 'sleepover bandits', a name given to them based on their popularity--robbing banks. "Bandits" a funny comedy that keeps you watching till the very end.
This is also one of the best endings to a movie I've seen in a while. I'm certainly not going to spoil the ending for you, but I will say it's great. And it's not just the end that's great. The entire movie is very entertaining. Most people don't associate Bruce Willis with comedy yet he is very good at it. Just look at "The Whole Nine Yards". Anyway, Cate Blanchett co-stars with the two bank robbers as she toys with both of their emotions. Something that carries on until that very special ending I've talking about. If you don't like the ending you must have missed something during the movie, because it's tremendous.
This movie never really made it big time, but it's good enough to watch. I recommend it to anyone who either likes Willis, Thornton, or a greatly entertaining comedy film....more info
- LOL Hilarious romance comedy
Although this was bought for my sister-in-law, who found it LOL funny, it is one of my favorite comedies of all time. Billy Bob Thorton's hypocondriac character is played perfectly. What a great performance! It is not only hilarious, but the story line is fantastic. It's a fast paced adventure about bank robbers who take on a "kidnapped partner" (Cate Blanchett)who has a husband who is more concerned about himself, and his job than his wife. Bruce Willis, gives a wonderful performance as the ringleader of the "Sleep over Bandits". The ending was surprising, so I won't give it away...but this is just one movie that I can watch over and over and laugh every time! Highly recommend for those of you who enjoy a great comedy, great adventure, story line and LOL comedy. The word "drama" doesn't fit this movie, unless you consider Billy Bob as a drama queen. Grab the popcorn and enjoy....more info
- Comic Genius
Billy Bob is the greatest as a hypochondriac! And Bruce Willis' dry humor and sarcasm is so clever. Love this movie!...more info
- REFRESHING AND FUNNY!
What a refreshing surprise! A funny, literate movie that doesn't succumb to gratuitous sex, violence, and foul langugage. (I guess Barry Levinson has enough original ideas that he doesn't have to resort to such things.) Thanks, Mr. Levinson. I've been a fan of yours for a long time, especially of your four-part "Baltimore trilogy." And I mourn the untimely death of "Homicide: Life on the Streets," one of the finest shows ever to grace the tube....more info
- It's Cate's Movie
I stumbled across this movie on cable one night and was immediately captured by it, much like the bank managers chosen for one of their capers by Bruce and Billy Bob. This is an intriguing tale that draws the viewer in father with each scene, and both boys give excellent performances, but the real star of the show is Ms Blanchett, who characteristically inhabits her role from the bone marrow out, switching back and forth between her character's own diverse personalities along the way. That the caper ends with all using their brains to get away cleanly makes it even better. Can't say enough about this film....more info
- Great Service
Received my order in a timely manner and in good condition. Also, your reputation is why I also purchase from you....more info
- Steal away
"Bandits" doesn't seem entirely sure whether it wants to be a quirky screwball film or a crime drama. So it tries for both, and achieves neither. Billy Bob Thornton and Cate Blanchett keep this ship from sinking completely, but my words to "Bandits" are: Steal away.
The film opens with an in-over-their-heads bank robbery, then switches to flashbacks. Joe (Bruce Willis) is a courteous thug with anger issues, and Terry (Billy Bob Thornton) is a neurotic hypochondriac; both are in the same prison. One day Joe masterminds a quickie escape using a cement truck, and the two fugitives quickly hole up in a suburban house with two teens to avoid capture. Their plan? Steal enough money to open a resort in Mexico.
With the help of Joe's cousin, they soon become the "sleepover bandits," who hold up the bank manager in the evening and the bank the next morning. It seems pretty simple until a frustrated, pretty, immensely weird housewife named Kate (Cate Blanchett first hits Terry with her car then attaches herself to the bandits (in more ways than one). But with both of them in love with the same woman, and their usual plans gone awry, something has to give.
"Bandits" is at its best when it's quirky, but the crime caper ideas are all wrong. The movie sparkles when the "sleepover bandits" are eating dinner with their hostages, dealing with lovestruck policemen, or handling a bank manager who passes out at the drop of a hat. But between the love triangle and the grim flash-forwards, the movie becomes unbalanced fairly quickly.
The direction is okay; the script has a lot of good lines, but they sometimes are hard to find amid the usual been-there-done-that stuff. Blanchett usually gets the best ones, such as the anecdote about the jaw-dislocating kiss. The physical comedy (Blanchett running down Thornton, then whacking him with the car door) is good, as is the concept of the "sleepover bandits."
Bruce Willis appears to be sleepwalking as Joe, even when supposedly filled with rage. (His sole really amusing moments are when he's being abnormally courteous and ethical) Billy Bob Thornton is immensely likable and entertaining, an antique-phobic hypochondriac, until he falls for Kate, at which point he becomes less interesting. Cate Blanchett steals the show completely, especially in her first scene (where she drums and dances along to a rock song in the kitchen) as the weird and unhappy housewife with a clod for a husband.
"Bandits" could easily have been a fairly good comedy, or a moderately good crime movie. But it aspires to be both, and succeeds as neither. Only Blanchett and Thornton keep this from being another big theft....more info
- Cate steals the show, and my heart!
When `Bandits' was released my soul reason for seeing it was my obsession with everything Bruce Willis. Now, after having watched this film numerous times, I realize that what does it for me is not Bruce but the magic that the wonderfully talented Cate Blanchett brings to this movie. As Kate Wheeler, the bored and unsatisfied housewife, Cate infuses enough warmth, charm and charismatic insanity to make her character the most likable and memorable of the bunch.
The story follows Joe Blake (Bruce Willis) and Terry Lee Collins (Billy Bob Thornton) as they escape from prison and set out as `The Sleepover Bandits', kidnapping the bank managers the night before the heist in order to rob the bank minus the hassle of alarms and security. Their plan is to steal enough money so they can open a resort in Mexico and live normal lives. Along the way they pick up Joe's cousin Harvey (Troy Garity), an aspiring stuntman, to drive the getaway car. It's only when they run into Kate Wheeler that things get complicated. Initially Kate is drawn to Joe for the mere fact that he's everything her husband isn't. He's strong, attentive and interested in her.
After a series of events beyond anyone's control (like a car wreck and a police pursuit) Kate ends up hiding out with Terry and not Joe, and this leads to her attraction to Terry because of his sympathetic and gentle aura. She can't help but fall in love with him. When the three of them are reunited this love triangle causes conflict within the group and compromises their relationship as well as their plans. Hilarity can be found throughout the film, whether it's focused on Terry neuroticism or hearing Terry threaten to kill anyone who tries to call the police.
Cate Blanchett, as beautiful as I've ever seen her, completely steals the show here. She has one of the best character introductions I've ever scene, just watching her sing and dance in her kitchen, banging on pots and pans as if they were instruments and she were a star. She illuminates the screen and truly makes you believe that these two men could be that head over heals for her. Bruce Willis is charming but somewhat stale here. He doesn't bring that same fire he normally brings to a role, but I still love him even with the bad hair. Billy Bob provides plenty of laughs, especially when he's flopping on the bar-room floor, but he still can't hold a candle to Cate's commanding presence.
`Bandits' is funny and charming and will provide entertainment to any age group. It may not be the most effective comedy/crime drama but it hits plenty of marks and is deemed worthy of multiple viewings. I can't find too much wrong with this movie for it redeems itself time after time and always succeeds in making me smile....more info
- Beavers and Ducks!
After watching this movie the first time, I remember being surprised at how much I loved it. The chemistry & humor between the three stars makes for such a helarious ride, this is one of the few movies I can watch over and over. There is something laugh at something new each time. Very clever performances by all and Billy Bob is one of a kind....more info
- Like a Classic Work Of Literature...
Bandits was REALLY overlooked as a movie. The insight into the criminal mind and lifestyle is jaw-dropping. The theme of escape is shown here to all of us who go to work day in and day out like machines. These bank robbers have no job, family, etc to hold them down, they live in complete freedom, no one tells them what to do. With its gripping plot, and hilarious performances by Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thorton, this movie deserves ATLEAST one viewing. I don't want to spoil the story but the end of this movie is amazingly clever. Enjoy....more info
- Another Wonderful, Classy Performance By Ms. Blanchett!!!
In this movie we see real life Serial Monogamist Billy Bob Thornton playing Terry, along with his fellow escaped convict Joe played by Bruce Willis. This unlike duo hatch a novel way to rob banks and kidnap Ms. Blanchett who seems to like cooking a lot and Bonnie Tyler songs.Predictably Ms. Blanchett's character falls in love with both of these guys and this makes an interesting plot device. Ms. Blanchett brings a lot of Class to the screen as always and is backed by the ever reliable Billy Bob Thornton who I have yet to see give a bad performance in a movie which is why I give this film 5 stars....more info