Film Review: Searching for a few good and funny 'Bandits'

arry Levinson’s latest flick is a hit-and-miss romantic comedy that follows the story of two bank robbers and the woman they love as they make their way through Oregon and California, leaving a trail of money, stolen cars and an adoring public in their wake.

“”Bandits”” follows Joe Blake (Bruce Willis) and Terry Collins (Billy Bob Thornton) from a daring prison escape in Oregon all the way down the West Coast. The duo brings a unique approach to robbing banks that proves to be very efficient.

The two fugitives quickly recruit Harvey Pollard (Troy Garity), Blake’s dimwitted cousin and an aspiring stuntman, as their wheelman. Things are going well for the crew until Collins has a run-in with Kate Wheeler (Cate Blanchett). Wheeler joins the team, adding controversy and an interesting love story on the side. She must choose between Blake, the irresistible tough guy, and Collins, the sweet and sensitive type. The movie’s comedic element kicks into overdrive as the two fight for her affection.

Levinson is a proven director who has an Academy Award to prove it. He won the award for Best Director for “”Rainman”” in 1988. He is also no stranger to comedy. Levinson won critical acclaim with his direction of “”Good Morning, Vietnam.”” His comedic style is unique in that it focuses on a sense of reality and relies on the humor of the actual moment instead of relying on the actor overplaying it for laughs. That approach is followed in this movie and works very well.

Thornton’s performance as a neurotic hypochondriac is the saving grace of this movie. His comedic timing is very good; he saves a script that is slow at times and very predictable. It is a very solid role for him.

Willis is simply average as the tough guy with a heart. He has his funny moments, but they are few in number.

Blanchett does a nice job in her role as the bored housewife looking for adventure. She also has a few funny moments in the movie.

Garity is surprisingly funny as the village idiot. His character is the only one who really shoots for overt comedy, with the exception of a few scenes from Thornton.

The cinematography is above average in this movie. There are some beautiful shots that capture some of the brilliant scenery in which the film was shot. Two-time Academy Award nominee Dante Spinotti (“”L.A. Confidential,”” “”The Insider””) was in charge of the cinematography.

“”Bandits”” is a fun movie, but poorly written. It drags at times, but is saved by some solid performances and definite comedy. For those simply looking for a good laugh and some relaxing entertainment, this movie is one that should be on the list. However, if those looking for a solid plot and Oscar-worthy performances should really look elsewhere.

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2320
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2320
$500
Contributed
Our Goal