Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett
Bandits begins at the end - Willis and Thornton are
in a bank, surrounded by the police and falling apart at the
seams over a disagreement about a woman. At this point, the
story shifts back to beginning, when both Willis and Thornton
were prison inmates and manage to escape in an almost casual
fashion. From that point, they manage to hijack their way
into a bank robbery, still wearing their inmate clothes. The
series of events leads them to devise a "new" manner by which
to rob banks: stay over at the bank manager's home the night
before and go in with him before the bank opens in the morning.
After the first successful bank robbery, the robbers head
their separate ways for two weeks in hopes of keeping the
police off of their trail. As Thornton heads to the meeting
place, his car runs out of gas and he decides to head on foot,
at which point he gets run down by the upset Cate Blanchett,
whose marriage has become unbearably empty. She drives him
to the meeting place and makes herself a part of their gang,
despite Thornton's complaints that she'll be nothing but trouble.
After which, they continue to rob banks, becoming more and
more famous because of their unusual methods. Between each
robbery, though, Blanchett becomes romantically involved with
both Willis and Thornton, further complicating events.
Thornton's hypochondriac Terry Collins plays great against
the more straightforward Joe Blake that Willis portrays. They
have a great chemistry that works well throughout the film.
Initially, Blanchett's Kate Wheeler works well, but she tends
to get a little overexposed as the movie moves along. Between
Thornton's hilarious outbursts and Harvey J. Pollard, who
plays the dopey amateur stuntman turned getaway driver, there's
enough humor here to keep the story from getting too full
The only real gripe I had with the movie was that it spent
too much time trying to develop the characters, which meant
certain sequences dragged on too long. If they had edited
out about fifteen minutes from this film, I think it would
have been the perfect pace for the story. Other than that,
it was fairly good and showed that Willis can have a second
career in more humorous films.