Bandits (2001)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Bandits</strong> (2001)

(In theaters, October 2001) Bring in the editor! Meshing crime adventures and romantic comedies require skill, wit and complete mastery of the AVID editing suite. Unfortunately, the filmmakers went for “atmospheric” rather than “snappy”, and the result is a film marred by a leisurely middle section that sucks away the energy of the rest of the film. It’s not as if our protagonists aren’t appealing: Bruce Willis rocks as a cool criminal, Billy Bob Thornton is hilarious as a neurotic partner-in-crime and Cate Blanchett makes me swoon every time she dons a red wig. But the screenwriters try to cram too much of a romantic ménage-à-trois drama in too little crime comedy and the result screeches to halt as soon as our trio talks romance rather than rob banks. The non-chronological structure is initially interesting, but not much is ultimately done with it. It doesn’t help that the ending is telegraphed well in advanced. Once in a while you have a great scene, like the self-convincing paralysis. Hey, it’s not a bad film, just an unsatisfying one. It won’t be remembered six months after its video release.

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