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Bandidas (2006)
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Review Date: June 08, 2006
Director: Joachim Roenning, Espen Sandberg
Writer: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Producers: Luc Besson
Actors:
Salma Hayek as Sara
Penelope Cruz as Maria
Steve Zahn as Quentin
Plot:
Two Mexican hotties, one educated in Europe and the other a farmgirl, hook up when a nasty white Americano decides to start swindling deeds away from the locals and buying up their banks. In turn, the sexy duo decide to become bankrobbers in order to steal back the money that the meanie was taking from their countrymen. To be honest though, the plot’s not really so important…what is important is the scene featuring the two ladies in prostitute gear! That might just be worth the entry price alone. Though I stress the word “might”.
Critique:
Note: I caught this film in France, where it has already been released on DVD. Its North American release date has yet to be determined.

A “so-so” movie that certainly flies by fast enough and injects almost any element that you might expect in a motion picture into itself including comedy, action, drama, adventure, thrills and sex appeal, but one that would certainly have benefited from a stronger focus on only a couple of those variables, a more original plotline, a longer run-time (currently ~ 85 minutes) and yes, I’ll say it…more sex appeal! I certainly don’t want to come off like a sexist here (if the film starred Johnny Depp and Matthew McConaughey, I would likely complain about the same shit), but for a film starring two super-hot tamales, we don’t really get all that much sexual friskiness, other than one brilliantly gratuitous “corset scene” in which the two lovely Latinas dress down to look like old school prostitutes, and accentuate their…well, cleavagio! Well okay, there’s also a quickie shot of the ladies doing push-ups in a stream. Olé!! Unfortunately for us, that’s about halfway through the movie, and up until that point, the two ladies are dressed in friggin’ cowboy gear and covered from head to toe a la Muslim women. C’mon folks…do you know who your target market is?? Well, according to much of the film’s goofy humor and pratfalls (as well as a juvenile running joke about who “kisses better”), methinks that this movie is oddly aimed more at ladies or the under-13 crowd, with a fluff attitude all around, not much in terms of real action or shoot-outs, and lots of stuff involving…well, horses. Me no care about horses, me want to see ladies shoot, kiss and get into sexy adventures.

And even though the bandidas ultimately turn into bank-robbing mamasitas, we rarely see them actually robbing banks, and instead, follow them around as they continually bicker about how much one is suckier than the other, etc… It’s all pretty “cute”, but I wanted more meat, more action, more gunplay and more “sexy parties”! But enough complaining about what the movie wasn’t and allow me to expand on what is was, which ultimately was a light, entertaining watch. Like I said right off the top, the film does deliver in a variety of departments with mucho comedy, but also a little bit of drama, some adventures and even some spurts of action here and there, as per the film’s finale and most impressive scenario featuring a cool bullet-time slow-motion sequence that was pretty fun to watch, despite feeling like it belonged in another movie. Salma Hayek is also dang hot, as per usual, Steve Zahn is decent as the “poor guy” who has to constantly get kissed by the girls (and he got paid for that shit?!?) and Dwight Yoakam, damn slimy as the one-dimensional bad guy. I also enjoyed the film’s score, many of its directing choices (and the cute homages to spaghetti westerns) and despite being edited as tight as my buttplug, its pace which didn’t waste time on anything.

Actually, it probably could have used a little more air to breathe and a little more “meat”, but in the end, the film is fluff with a touch of the ol’ Mexican spirit tossed in, and if that’s what you’re looking for, you can do much worse than this movie. That said, the PG-13 crowd and the fairer sex will likely enjoy it more than older movie perverts like myself (no lesbian action, boys). By the way, this is a “summer movie” if I ever saw one. Release it already!
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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2:49PM on 06/10/2006
This is basiccaly the movie "The Legend of Zorro" wanted to be. I guess light entertainment is an acute description. Enjoyable, forgettable.
This is basiccaly the movie "The Legend of Zorro" wanted to be. I guess light entertainment is an acute description. Enjoyable, forgettable.
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7:55AM on 06/09/2006
Enjoyable, cute, sexy, funny and well-made. I saw this film ages ago in theatres (and later on DVD!) and loved it more on the second view. While the plot is thin, the clichés are all over and the running-time is criminally short (80 mins), I still enjoyed this film so much. Cruz and Hayek had great chimestry and their "kiss" competiton was hilarious (never thought they can be THAT funny). Zahn, the ever-underrated comedian, shines in a "leading role" as the naive yet smart detective who gets
Enjoyable, cute, sexy, funny and well-made. I saw this film ages ago in theatres (and later on DVD!) and loved it more on the second view. While the plot is thin, the clichés are all over and the running-time is criminally short (80 mins), I still enjoyed this film so much. Cruz and Hayek had great chimestry and their "kiss" competiton was hilarious (never thought they can be THAT funny). Zahn, the ever-underrated comedian, shines in a "leading role" as the naive yet smart detective who gets involved in the whole thing, unwillingly. The action scenes are top-notch, something expected whenever the name Luc Besson is around. I especially loved the "train" chase near the end. And the "big heist" of the big bank was a classic: thrilling and hilarious in equal measures.
So, in short, this film is pure fun for a bit over 80 minutes. It demands being in the mood of "having fun" while watching a movie and not being all "conscious" to its over-the-top nature. Kudos to Salma Hayek, Penelope Cruz and Steve Zahn coz.. really.. who thought they would make such a lovely team together? I recommend this film for everyone in the mood of pure cinematic entertainement.
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