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Bandits

Buy It

Starring: Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Jim Joe Thornton, Cate Blanchett, and Troy Garity
Directed by: Barry Levinson
Rated: R

 


Absolutely hysterical. A Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid for this generation!

Billy Bob Thornton's delivery of one-liners disguised, as banter, is mesmerizing. In less capable hands we could have had a clunker of tremendous proportions streaming upon the screen.

Bruce Willis' forever-cocky smirk was a signature for his character, though a tad reminiscent of his Whole Nine Yards role.

Cate Blanchett, ah, Cate this woman is a chameleon of actors. She is as comfortable as Elisabeth, a queen trying to keep control, or Annie a woman who's psychic abilities nearly ruin her life, in The Gift as here in Bandits as a neurotic sidekick played with depth and a gracious comedic delivery.

Bandits is about Terry (Billy Bob Thornton) and Joe (Bruce Willis). They're good old-fashioned bank robbers. The kind that break outta prison and start robbin' immediately. They roll in wearing proper disguises, grab the dough, make a few threats for good measure and skeedattle.

They do have a quirk- naturally. Theirs is they storm into the designated bank's manager's home the night before the robbery and spend the night. They discuss the all clear signs, the vault setups etc. The next morning they take the manger and his family for a stroll into the bank and perform the robbery- nice and calm. This odd pre-robbery slumber party and "getting to know" the bank management approach has given the boys the moniker of "Sleep-over Bandits" by an America's Most Wanted-esque reporter (Bobby "stand-up guy" Slayton).

Terry and Joe aren't just random theives...they have dreams of using all their hard stolen loot to get them a hotel and restaurant establishment in the hideout capitol of the world, Mexico.

Their plans are going smooth as Vince Vaughn's stare, as they, along with their "lookout" fellow (Troy -mansteak in waiting-Garity), continue to rob and gather, rob and gather, till car trouble for Terry, en route to the next rendezvous, has all their fates twisting into a scene from It Happened One Night meets The Apple Dumpling Gang directed by Barry Levinson.

Terry gets a lift from distraught- on-the- edge- of-self-destruction housewife Cate (Cate Blanchett). He's kind of abducted in a control reversal scene and she's tagging along for the ride.

Hearts start fluttering and the imperious love triangle rears its magnificently orchestrated head. Together, as Cate discovers, Joe and Terry do make a perfect man- who could blame a gal for falling for both?

Now what's the most infamous robbery team since Bonnie and Clyde going to do? Maybe one last job then they can all go there separate ways...

Bruce Willis is aging well. Yumsicles still drip from his fit manly frame. I'd go on the lamb with him, on the bearskin rug, heck the down comforter for that matter…He's comfortable as this Joe and it shows. Strong cast and strong dialog combined with great direction work well with him.

Billy Bob's a genius (his dumbing up Annie from The Gift aside). I think the guy's genius. Not just in his ability to morph with every role he selects into that barely recognizable man beneath the façade that actor's work their whole lives to obtain, but for his manipulation of the press with his outlandish interviews and hi jinx. I suspect there's some truth in his eccentricities but hardly as deep or as down right whacked as he'd wish us to believe. I actually own two copies of Simple Plan in case somebody doesn't return one when borrowed. It's really a stellar performance, a redundant sentence when reviewing B.B. Billy Bob's Terry is a nutcase with charm, indosyncracies that include fear of antiquities, catching an illness by suggestion and a consistant twitch...wait this wasn't acting! That is Billy Bob!

Cate Blanchett is a brilliant and beautiful actor. Name one film she's done that isn't at the least, captivating? She's got an other worldly quality to her that ads to her transformations. When you see her name in the cast you can pretty much count on a wonderful movie going experience.

Bandits was excellent, often knee slapping funny. The story's been done, but the combo platter of Cate, Billy Bob and the side order of Bruce with Levinson as the chef- if you will, Bandits is a tasty treat at the movies

Snack Recommendation: Saffron infused marinara with ziti.


 

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