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Overall Rating
3.43

Awesome: 18.09%
Worth A Look34.04%
Average: 28.72%
Pretty Bad: 10.64%
Total Crap: 8.51%

8 reviews, 46 user ratings


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Bandits (2001)
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by Jason Whyte

"Beavers and Ducks! Oh my..."
2 stars

Barry Levinson's career is one of hits and misses, from making Robin Williams crack hilarious monologues in "Good Morning Vietnam" and the great teaming of Robert DeNiro and Dustin Hoffman in "Wag The Dog," to his lesser side of "Sphere", "Jimmy Hollywood" and 2004's worst film, "Envy". His latest film, "Bandits," is sort of a middle ground. While there are some big laughs and excellent performances here, the film is misguided, slapped together and uneven as a fifty year old highway.

The premise, about the "Sleepover Bandits," is intriguing at first. Joe and Terry (Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thorton), recently escaped from prison, want nothing more than to trek from Oregon to California, rob banks, and start a new life in Mexico. After robbing a few banks the old fashioned way, Terry comes along with the plan of kidnapping the bank manager the night before and robbing it before it opens. That way, no one gets hurt. Things work alright for Joe and Terry until Kate (Cate Blanchett) comes into the picture. She's a bored housewife with a moron of a husband, and becomes fascinated with the two. She wants to be a bandit too, and winds up in relationships with both Joe and Terry.

When Terry and Kate come together, "Bandits" takes off in an odd, likable way. It's hilarious to watch the neurosis of Terry (in one shot, he wakes up out of a nightmare yelling "Bears and Snakes!") and the conflicted Kate, who seems to be born again from meeting the two Bandits. Sadly, Joe's story is not as interesting, and the performance by Bruce Willis, while adequate, seems as stiff and clunky as Joe himself.

Levinson's style here seems to frequently intercut TV footage with the real action, which is shot very loosely and disjointed, feeling in many ways like a documentary. It doesn't work because of the ways that Levinson cuts this overlong picture together. It's slapped with bogus looking TV coverage, home video footage and, interestingly enough, some of the main story features cinematography that looks like it was shot on digital video (the end credits only quote Panavision 35mm cameras). It's also intercut with a lot of the same music used over and over again. I sat dumbfounded as U2's "Beautiful Day" kept showing up for no particular reason.

I laughed a lot during "Bandits," and I admired both Cate Blanchett and Billy Bob Thorton, but I also grew weary and tired as the film progressed on. At 124 minutes, it overstays its welcome and then some. And would it have been too much for the film to be shown chronologically?

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5093&reviewer=350
originally posted: 06/12/04 23:34:07
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User Comments

6/07/08 PAUL SHORTT MILDLY AMUSING BUT REPETITIVE AND OVERLONG 2 stars
6/20/07 Muted Orbz This wasn't acting, that's really Billy Bob. Ugh. 1 stars
6/04/07 Wendy Do you smell burning feathers? 4 stars
3/25/07 mb Good story ... well done. 5 stars
2/10/07 MP Bartley "Beavers and ducks!" 4 stars
8/17/05 Agent Sands One of my top 10 favorites. Elmore Leonard meets Woody Allen. 5 stars
8/08/05 R.W. Welch Shows some zip in the early going but slowly runs out of steam. Billy B has some good lines 3 stars
3/07/05 Charlie Being filmed in Oregon with a good cast, I have to give it 4 *. 4 stars
11/15/04 Joopy loop This is a 3.5 star movie from me, but still worth a look 3 stars
11/15/04 Ray I really like it!!! 5 stars
10/18/04 will rogers my favourite ivan campo tune: ivancampo.net 1 stars
5/06/04 J.Peckerfoot harmless nad funny.great s.track and billy bob rocks! 5 stars
5/01/04 zach witham beavers and ducks- best line ever 5 stars
6/24/03 adrian lane kate what a gal 4 stars
4/08/03 Shadaan Felfeli i liked the film and loved the cast....Blanchet is my idea of a woman 4 stars
3/31/03 Paul Coleman Way below average. What was going on in the filmmakers minds? 2 stars
3/22/03 Allen How can you people like this pile of puke?!! 2 stars
2/02/03 Charlie Freschl I enjoyed it a lot 5 stars
11/03/02 Kari Wald BEAVERS AND DUCKS -best line ever 5 stars
9/18/02 Danielle Ophelia Very amusing, REAL comedy. The three leads rocked my socks. 4 stars
5/19/02 Chowie billy bob thornton is so fine.. 5 stars
4/30/02 katie hilarious.. odd comedy. GREAT! 5 stars
4/23/02 Monday Morning Bruce Willis...someday this guy's gonna make it big. 4 stars
4/19/02 Weedle Billy Bob continues to amaze 4 stars
3/22/02 antje quite like it 4 stars
1/23/02 Robert Cate is as perfect as always, therefore, it's a movie worth seeing 4 stars
1/22/02 Some Guy excellent movie! The movies ending was great. What a twist. 5 stars
12/14/01 Michael A funny movie that is just a litte too long. 4 stars
12/10/01 Matthew Bartley Could be more exciting but very funny nonetheless.Thornton was excellent 4 stars
11/22/01 Richard Connehey C ate was almost not horrible and outlandishly boring...almost 1 stars
11/22/01 j man really good movie 5 stars
11/22/01 steve goldenbaum Billy bob should stick to playing retards. A movie for Budgie brained commies. 1 stars
11/22/01 Barbara Cagle Going to see it again. Bought the soundtrack- it is awesome! Will buy the video too! 5 stars
10/31/01 ustabawillisfan Worst Willis movie I have seen. Trite, predictable and waste of time 1 stars
10/30/01 titsboobyala I shit on this film and your mom 1 stars
10/29/01 Jimmy James fun? i guess so, i barely smiled, cate rocks ass 3 stars
10/24/01 Barbara Cagle Loved it! Good escape film. Bruce Willis still melts my butter! Billy Bob/Cate are GREAT! 5 stars
10/23/01 spaceworm Cate. Yes indeed. And the guys are okay. 4 stars
10/19/01 Jestyr Way to predictable, it had brief moments on non-sucking. 2 stars
10/18/01 cindy Great movie...Billy Bob stole the show!!! 5 stars
10/17/01 Suzz easily the biggest waste of time, energy and money this year 1 stars
10/16/01 thanatos rarely do i see such interesting characters, and their interaction was hilarious. 5 stars
10/15/01 Dave Knave It had it's moments, but ultimately predictable and forgettable. 4 stars
10/15/01 poetchuck Wonderful movie with interesting twists 5 stars
10/13/01 KCobain Great, just what we need. Glorification of bank robbers. 1 stars
6/05/01 Ben Donnelly great movie, it was fantastic 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  12-Oct-2001

UK
  N/A

Australia
  21-Mar-2002




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