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More of a comedy than the action movie I expected from the cover. The movie is the formula of bad guys tripped up by the good-guys: not a surprise in the whole show, but who can resist the stars at their most charming. If you're in the mood for light fun and a happy ending, this is for you.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Just have your Sense of Humour switched on and you will Enjoy BandidasNov. 14 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
Bandidas is the film where the two most famous latina stars of Hollywood, Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek, team up as a dynamite cowgirl duo fighting evil in Mexico, 1888. There has been a large negative buzz about this film which is a bit unfair. Bandidas is just not to be taken seriously and is just good old entertainment where you have to have your sense of humor switched on. If you are expecting a serious western-drama, you have to look someplace else.
The film, which was releashed in cinemas all over Europe in January and March 2006, wasn't a huge hit. The thing with people was that they were expecting something without so much humour but did get that, which dissapointed them. The humour is indeed a bit too much sometimes, but there are some hilarious moments in the film that are absolutely enjoyable. The chemistry between Cruz and Hayek is delicious and you can see in the way they are acting that they had a fun time on the set making the film. Next to Cruz and Hayek there is Steve Zahn. Zahn does what he does best: playing a comedic sidekick. He is funny and plays his part well. Dwight Yoakam feels a bit miscast in the film but he does an okay job as the main villian. There is some drama in the film that feels a bit outnumberd compairing it with the comedic moments which gives the film a kind of messy feeling sometimes. That is too bad, but overall doesn't bother you.
The film has been professionally made and looks good. The special effects, the lush Mexican locations and cameramovements are beautifully done which gives great cinematography. Also the music, composed by Eric Serra is very nice and gives some scenes a nice powerboost and a fun western flavour.
Still the best reason to buy the film are two elements: Cruz and Hayek. They are sexy, funny and make the film worth to take a look at. Some things are a bit over the top, but who cares: it entertains, and it is nice to kill 1 and a half hours of boredom and replace that with nice popcorn fun. And most importantly: Bandidas leaves you with a smile on your face, and that is what entertainment is all about.
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Starring Salma Hayek...Need I Say More?Sept. 27 2007
Caesar M. Warrington
- Published on Amazon.com
I'm going to be honest with you folks, if this western spoof about good-girls-turned-bankrobbers featured, let's say, Cameron Diaz and Kate Beckinsale instead of Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz, I wouldn't have given it a second thought.
Set in 1880s Mexico, Sara Sandoval (Salma Hayek), a banker's daughter, and Maria Alvarez (Penelope Cruz), a poor farmer's one, have nothing in common but their Mexican heritage and a desire for revenge on the American railroad interests who've sent a thug named Tyler Jackson (played country music superstar Dwight Yoakam) to steal the locals' land, and in the process kill Sara's father and seriously injure Maria's.
You'll have to do much suspension of disbelief and be in a goofy mood for this movie: On the run from Jackson's men, Sara and Maria enlist the services of veteran bankrobber (Sam Shepard) to teach them all that he knows. Afterwards and bumbling their way through holdups, the ladies attempt to blackmail a Sherlock Holmes wannabe NYPD detective (an extremely miscast Steve Zahn), who is also the fiance of the railroad owner's daughter; however, being at heart nice sweet gals, Sara and Maria instead resort to a much more effective style of 'friendly persuasion' to enlist the dorky-but-crafty New York cop.
BANDIDAS has its moments of cliff hangers and hilarious situations, but overall falls flat, leaving an ending which more than hints at an intended sequel. Still, I've wasted 2 hours on worse product. Salma Hayek's beauty, Penelope Cruz's grace, and a very cool and really smart horse didn't make this movie so bad to watch after all.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
ExcellentJan. 28 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
If you like action movies with comedy, you'll like this. I liked Salma Hayek's performance in Ugly Betty, so I picked this up at the video store. It's basically a cowboy movie set in Mexico, with Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz as the partner cowboys robbing banks to save their people. I thought the action and comedy were really well done. Salma Hayek is a rich heiress, newly returned from a European education to her banker father's Mexican home. Penelope Cruz is a Mexican farm girl with an affinity for horses and guns. Some bad guys come into the story and force the farmers to sell their farms for 1 peso, or be shot (or both). Salma and Penelope's fathers get murdered/injured by the bad guys and the two ladies go on the road for some revenge. They rob the bad guy's banks and give the money to support the displaced Mexican people. Salma and Penelope get training in bank robbing, come up with some hilarious schemes to rob armed banks, and even get the crime scene investigator to help them rob banks. The story is set in a beautiful Mexican (I think it's actually shot entirely in Mexico) landscape where the people are good and honest, and the bad guys are out to swindle them. Salma and Penelope, needless to say, are beautiful and hilarious. Their outfits are particularly attractive and they have some great comedic stunts. There's one part that's probably not suitable for children though - at one point the two ladies dress up in brothel dance outfits and take scandalous photos with a unclothed bound man (for purely blackmail purposes). There's a cute dog, a smart horse who can even go up ladders, and lots of beautiful shots of scenery, horses and great music. The movie has a lot of slapstick comedy, two heart-of-gold heroines who bicker with each other, and enough action (gunfights, explosions and horse riding) to keep my husband happy. If you're looking for a comedic action movie with heart in a beautiful historical setting, this is it.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
"Get Your Hands In The Air!"Jan. 13 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek are two of the most beautiful women on the screen today, and they serve up a double helping of South of the Border sex and sizzle in BANDIDAS. The story is definitely B-grade, but once expectations are properly dialed in, it's a hoot watching Cruz and Hayek chew up the scenery as they play mismatched and hot-tempered Mexican women of the 1880s who are out for revenge.
Cruz stars as Maria Alvarez, the daughter of a dirt-poor farmer, while Hayek plays spoiled Sara Sandoval, the daughter of the region's richest man. When they first meet, neither of them like each other. But when Maria's father is gunned down and left for dead while their farm is taken from them and Sara's father is murdered in cold blood, they gradually bond for revenge.
Country star Dwight Yoakum stars as the bad guy, Tyler Jackson, whose in charge of getting a railroad ran through the heart of Mexico by whatever means it takes. Sam Shepard plays Bill Buck, a former bank robber who teaches Maria and Sara to rob banks and forge a friendship. Steve Zahn stars as Quentin Cooke, a forerunner in forensic detection that gets caught up in Maria and Sara's schemes. The film was produced and co-written by Luc Besson, who has headed up several action pictures such as THE PROFESSIONAL, THE TRANSPORTER, KISS OF THE DRAGON.
Seeking revenge, Sara and Maria start robbing all the banks Tyler Jackson has taken over. Each of them bring skills to their efforts. Maria has a trick horse that she plays tic-tac-toe with and can talk to. The horse also tells other horses what to do. She's also a great pistol shot. Sara, though she can simper over a manicure, is also a great planner and can be driven to see things through on a large scale.
Although this film isn't going to change your life or address any social problems in a meaningful way (although there is a line in the movie that basically says the United States should keep their noses in their own affairs), BANDIDAS is easy on the eyes and fun to watch. The plot takes predictable turns, but that's made up by the pacing. You see everything coming, but it happens so quickly that you're already onto the next thing in record time.
The predictable cat-fighting that goes on between the two leads doesn't get tiresome because it never takes itself seriously or overstays its welcome. Likewise with the kissing scene (although Steve Zahn must have loved the retakes) where they competed for Quentin Cooke's attention.
Everything comes comfortably together within ninety minutes, and the movie is a romp that involves sexy clothing, girls fighting, some real fighting, feats of derring-do that involve riding horses up ladders, swinging across courtyards, and blowing up buildings. The dialogue is brisk and fun.
BANDIDAS is a great buddy flick, and maybe even one for a light couples night because there's enough comedy and action to satisfy everyone.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Thelma and LuisaMay 26 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
It's cliché-filled, but who cares? Did you see the box cover?! Every western has a few of the same scenes dressed up in a different manner depending on the cast. Afterall, villians don't wear white, and there has never been a Hayak/Cruz in skimpy-clothing-and-Wonderbra movie of which I'm aware.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I was looking for some nudity going into this movie, and was disappointed in the fact that neither of the leading ladies lost any lingerie. I thought that the cat-fight scene alone would be good for at least some gratuitous frontal nudity. Considering the sexy box-cover, I feel that my disappointment is justified. Afterall, it's clearly what they were attempting to use to sell the movie.
Maria (Penelope Cruz) and Sara (Salma Hayek) become improbable bank robbers - with tutelage from an old crook named Buck (Sam Shepard) - when brought together by tragedy. One rich, Sara, and one poor, Maria, are polar opposites. Initially they are naturally outwardly opposite of one another, and therefore enemies. That all changes when each girl suffers through either a fatal or near-fatal family experience - a direct result of an evil railroad construction project planned to go straight through each girl's property; from there on out, they each have the same mission of revenge.
The rest of the movie is just a showcase for Hayak and Cruz, a reason to show them both off in attractive clothing and beautiful Mexican scenery, as they fight the apparently evil Tyler Jackson (Dwight Yoakum) and his bank/railroad enterprise. But, really, it's just a reason to watch Hayak and Cruz get in a cat fight while wearing revealing clothing. It's not a deep film, not an overly interesting plot, and it's not remotely close to winning any awards. It's just an entertaining, perfect date movie - there's women empowerment for the ladies, and copious cleavage for the guys.