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Bandidas
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Bandidas More at IMDbPro »

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104 out of 139 people found the following review useful:

Nice movie to have a break out of ordinary life.

7/10
Author: gunther-vermeir from Belgium
18 January 2006

This is a typical "just fun to watch" movie. Nothing for hardcore movie freaks, more but i find it rather well done. Not to much clichés, some gags are very good and some nice lines of text... The action is also in balance and sometimes rather funny. The 2 Bandidas are of course quit sexy and nice looking, but especially Penélope Cruz (Maria) performs well and has that very groovy "archtype" Spanish look that makes you wonder where to hide if she ever get's mad at you. The story and characters are not so well developed, but that's hardly a problem for this type of movie. So if you are looking for a fun movie to relax with and have a good time with your girl/boy/pet and you like some humor and action, check it out. But don't expect a "cinematic masterpiece".

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75 out of 103 people found the following review useful:

Harmless Fun!!!

7/10
Author: Alexis Dillon from Belgium
19 February 2006

Bandidas is a conventional, predictable cinematic product and yet, it manages to be a laughing out loud experience and a great time at the movie theater.

The story of the two opposite mexicanas played by Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz kicks off when both meet personal tragedy and seek for revenge (first, for themselves and them for the whole people of Mexico).

Hayek and Cruz are great to watch as the film highlights their comedian and physical talents quite well.

Technical work on the film is also top notch and Steve Zahn/Sam Shepard's supporting roles bring both masculinity and humor to this laugh-fest.

Overall, this movie will not win any Oscars but it will definitely win the heart of the audiences.

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75 out of 122 people found the following review useful:

Simply put, not a great film...

4/10
Author: Kyle from United States
10 March 2006

...but come on, did you really expect it to be? This movie is what it is: an action comedy (in the loosest sense of the word "action") about two hot Hispanic chicks robbing banks together. It's PG-13, so there's not going to be any real heavy subjects tackled (and sadly, Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek don't do anything more than shake hands). You have to go into a movie like this with a certain level of suspension of disbelief. Every single Mexican speaks perfect English (yes, even the farmers), Cruz and Hayek pull off a couple near-Matrix-level stunts, and there are other implausibilities.

Even so, occasionally this movie is funny, and though it's bogged down by the usual clichés, there's a mild surprise or two in there as well. This is lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon kind of movie. I wouldn't buy a ticket to see it in theaters or purchase the DVD, but if you have a friend who's renting it or a free pass to the movies, you could see a lot of worse movies.

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57 out of 87 people found the following review useful:

cute and fun

7/10
Author: a_ngox from Netherlands
18 March 2006

I can say this movie is worth watching. It is really entertaining and can fill your day with laughter. As you probably expected already that Bandidas was made as a light and entertaining movie. The story is definitely easy to catch with a big support by Salma and Penelope's acting and fresh jokes.

You could say that Bandidas is a story of two females Zorro. Under any circumstances they always managed to get a hold onto something - in some unique ways. Salma and Penelope played really well, and definitely HOT! Frankly speaking, Maria (Penelope Cruz) was a farm girl which did not have much education. On the other hand, Sara (Salma Hayek) was a uptown girl freshly graduated from European university. Both of them did not share any common traits or life, except the bad guys killed and almost killed their fathers. Joining their forces and power together, they were robbing the enemy's banks.

If you would like to have a good time without any brainstorming activities, Bandidas will suit you just fine. Hope you guys enjoy it as I did!

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63 out of 101 people found the following review useful:

Is That Bandana Gucci or Prada?

8/10
Author: TC Candler from Minneapolis, USA
26 February 2006

It may be a premature statement, writing this in February of 2006, but "Bandidas" is one of the most entertaining films of the year. Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek are wonderful together as the sexy bank-robbers hell-bent on revenge and justice.

I suppose you could call this film a guilty pleasure. There is nothing substantial here... It is merely a lightweight action adventure with barrels of laughs and two primo-examples of eye candy. But of the 200+ entertainment-only movies in 2006, it is virtually assured that this film will be one of the better examples.

I was reminded a great deal of the cheerful tone and style that was evident in the Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster comedy, "Maverick". Add a sprinkle of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and you are rewarded with this Luc Besson penned screenplay.

After a short opening, displaying the investigative skills of Steve Zahn's character, the film introduces us to Penelope Cruz's Maria playing Tic Tac Toe with her horse in the dirt. It is one of many scenes in "Bandidas" that hearkens the silliness of Laurel & Hardy. Maria is a small-town Mexican farm girl who confesses that all she really knows about is horses and chickens. She is a dreamer and an idealist.

Her counterpoint is Salma Hayek's Sara... An educated heiress who has just returned from University in Europe. She is a thinker and a realist.

When Dwight Yoakam's evil land robber swoops in to take the money and land away from the locals, killing Sara's father and severely injuring Maria's, the girls team up to avenge their people and get the land back. By robbing the banks owned by the railroading thieves' American investors, the girls cause slapstick havoc across the Mexican landscape.

After getting some 'training' from Sam Shepard's character, which includes a gratuitous push-ups scene in the local stream, the girls feel ready to try some elaborate heists.

None of this is remotely realistic. At no point will you ever really be able to suspend your disbelief. This film plays more like a Laurel & Hardy film than anything else. We are only supposed to enjoy the interaction and comedic timing of these gorgeous babes (best friends in real life -- and it shows) as they pretend to fire guns, splash through any on-hand body of water, blow stuff up, and seduce Steve Zahn on numerous occasions. In fact, considering one specific scene, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Steve Zahn did this film pro bono.

There are some truly inventive and hilarious moments in this film. Consider the train shoot-out... a slow-motion sequence that was brilliantly shot with a special effects technique that I hadn't seen before. Also consider the wit of the 'banjo-tuning' scene. It was perfectly timed.

This film has tons of memorable moments: the church catfight; the horse climbing a ladder; the brothel kisses. It is packed with entertainment value and deserves a bigger audience than it will ultimately get. Penelope and Salma have great chemistry, exuding illegal amounts of sex-appeal and equal doses of hilarity. "Bandidas" is silly fluff that typically gets panned by critics like me... but I went with this one because it doesn't take itself at all seriously and because I never once thought to look at my watch. This is a breezy 93-minutes that will leave your face aching from smiling so much.

TC Candler IndependentCritics.com

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44 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

BANDIDAS: Unexpectedly Good! Irresistibly Charming!

7/10
Author: raymund salao from Philippines
2 June 2006

Set in Mexico in the 1800s, a violently strong banking corporation is moving in on Mexican lands, trying to muscle out the Mexicans off their own land. A spoiled brat lady and a farmer's daughter find themselves victims of such oppression, and together have bonded to unite in a cause against the banking corporation. Eventually, the two became bank robbers, bandidas who rob the oppressors to avenge and restore the rightful property of their people.

This movie is based upon the idea of its producer, the highly respected film director-producer Luc Besson, who was responsible for films like Leon: The Professional and The Fifth Element. Bandidas is directed by Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg.

Being a big fan of Sergio Leone's classic Spaghetti westerns (like the Clint Eastwood classics "A Fistful of Dollars, The Good, The Bad, & the Ugly, and the Charles Bronson revenge epic "Once Upon A Time in the West"), I appreciated the manner in which the director employed subtle Sergio Leone shots and sequences, not to mention a little of Ennio Morricone's music to spice up the little moments of Sergio Leone homage. But, of course, the film has the fast pace of a typical enjoyable action-adventure. There is one action sequence wherein the technique of bullet-time (as pioneered by the Matrix movies) was smartly used in a well done, impressive sequence.

In terms of brands and generalizations, the closest in comparison to this movie, being a popcorn action chick flick, is Charlie's Angels. But while the Charlie's Angels and its sequel may have been crammed with absolute unoriginality and badly-recycled tricks, Bandidas, on the other hand, is quite healthy with its own potentials. First of all, these 2 main characters are very attractive, not only in terms of beauty and sufficient cleavage exposure, but also in terms of their on screen chemistry, their chuckle-worthy bickerings and arguments, not to mention their vibrant aura on screen.

Penelope Cruz, for instance, who plays a somewhat simpleminded farmgirl acts convincingly dumbed down, to have the appeal which reminds you of Joey and Phoebe from the Friends TV series. Salma Hayek as the sophisticated and educated brat shows a radiant and spunky side of her on this role. i cant believe how delightfully ageless Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz are on this movie. While their nagging arguments may sounds a bit annoying in the trailers, I eventually grew to realize that when you watched the movie in its entirety, their noisy arguments are indeed hilarious and oftentimes cute. Although it's such a forgettable role, country singer Dwight Yoakam pulled off a satisfactory performance as the main villain of this movie. Sam Sheppard also appears as the Bandidas' mentor. And the film also stars Steve Zahn, who plays a quirky young scientist who obviously is trying to pioneer the science of crime forensics.

There is a thought-provoking pro-Mexican, Anti-American colonialism plot in this movie, which I suspect may be the reason why this film isn't out on US theaters yet; it isn't even listed to be set for release in US theaters anytime soon. Which is a shame, since this film really deserves a spotlight attention. Sure, it's a mere popcorn flick, but it's good as one.

Do not be fooled by the film's lack of, or unappealing sense of marketing; this film really is big and deserves a summer blockbuster treatment. It's unexpectedly good! It's irresistibly charming! BANDIDAS is the summer big action-adventure that not many have known of yet.

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25 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

With gorgeous vistas, "Bandidas" is a fun to watch!

7/10
Author: Righty-Sock (robertfrangie@hotmail.com) from Mexico
31 October 2007

"Bandidas" is set during the Mexican Revolution…

Cruz stars as María Alvarez, a gun-happy superstitious peasant who learns that her land has been sold to Tyler Jackson (Dwight Yoakam) by a corrupt Mexican banker Don Diego Sandoval (Ismael 'East' Carlo) until some higher authority intercedes…

María always knew what she wants and she always knew she feels, however when she dared to accuse Don Carlos as a corrupt and a thief, as a result of that her father is wounded in his ranch and his house is burned to the ground…

Sara Sandoval (Salma Hayek), who has been away at school in Europe for ten years, has left as a girl and came home as a woman…The only problem of Don Diego is now to convince her to stay… But Sandoval is poisoned following a real estate agreement with the avaricious Jackson…

So the two girls—joined by destiny—decide to be trained by Sam Shepard, to shoot well and to learn the rules of robbing banks… So they teamed up to get the people back on their land, and to come up with a plan, something that will benefit the people and destroy these murderers…

But after Quentin Cooke (Steve Zahn) an expert from New York City is kidnapped by the two she-monsters, the ruthless Jackson brought in more reinforcements, real killers hunting the two girls like animals… So every bank was seen more guarded now… Sara saw herself desperate, running out of ideas… Inside of herself she knew that she was raised to be a spoiled lady, not a renegade…

Penélope and Salma have great chemistry, and they are totally adorable together… The film has many memorable moments: the church catfight; the horse climbing a ladder; the two beauties in prostitute red cloth; Hayek getting off her chest her bloody corset which has been squeezing her gut her whole life; Salma teaching Penélope how to kiss a man right and how to capture that nuance…

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38 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

simply enjoyable

7/10
Author: rene2030 from Netherlands
18 March 2006

This is simply enjoyable to watch which is all the more an accomplishment as it has a lot against it. The mayor downside being that all through the movie you have the feeling that you have seen this all before. The setting, humor and interaction does remind you of "The Mask Of Zorro" (best example being the horse). The storyline is not that interesting and gives you the idea that it has just been written to create the setting and atmosphere. The acting is also no Oscar material but is very adequate. So it doesn't quite sound like a must see movie.

Then why should you see this one? I can't put my finger on it but somehow the whole package seems to work. Of course as a healthy guy I have to say that Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz as main attractions do raise my interest. Furthermore Steve Zahn has always had my sympathy as he always seems to be able to be much more than likable in the parts he plays. And finally, the directors come up with one or two original gags and camera shots that at least I hadn't seen before.

This is not Oscar material, but if you want to spend a comfortable hour and a half watching a movie this one will suit you fine.

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37 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

I had a lot of fun. Period.

6/10
Author: ediayoi from Mexico
2 March 2006

This is not about Salma being Mexican or not (altough is sad, that a Mexican said that in his comment). The movie is pure entertainment, some laughs, some action, a lot of gorgeous girls (two in fact) and what really matters is the fact that you leave the movie theater smiling. Salma is really funny in this comedy, she is relaxed and sexy, her look is very natural, you will be able to appreciate what a beauty she really is. Steve Zahn is hilarious, it's the kind of role he is perfect for. You know it's not the great script, but the movie is well directed, nice scenery, decent art direction and cinematography. Landscapes of ancient Mexico are great, Real de Catorce is an amazing place, the perfect "ghost town". Come on, just go and prepare to be a little relaxed, and enjoy.

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52 out of 95 people found the following review useful:

Very Good Movie for the Genre

7/10
Author: costas26
5 March 2006

I have seen this movie today and i must say it cheered my day.It was funny(many laugh out loud moments), the action was very very good for its genre (Western), a good plot to go by and it accomplishes to give you that old Western feeling.Penelope and Salma were magnificent and a perfect on-screen couple.For what it is (Action Western),it deserves an applause...I don't know why some people didn't like it, Considering it is PG-13, Genre Action Western Comedy (and not a drama or social movie that goes for an Oscar) it's top in its genre.It's got what it promises and even more.It is a very fun movie and unlike what another poster said , it does deserve the money to buy a ticket and go see it.

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