Bandits (2001 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Barry Levinson|
|Produced by||Barry Levinson
|Written by||Harley Peyton|
Billy Bob Thornton
|Music by||Christopher Young|
|Edited by||Stu Linder|
|Box office||$67.6 million|
Bandits is a 2001 American crime-comedy romantic drama film directed by Barry Levinson. It stars Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, and Cate Blanchett. Filming began in October 2000 and ended in February 2001. It helped Thornton earn a National Board of Review Best Actor Award for 2001. Thornton and Blanchett's performances earned praise, as each was nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress Golden Globe Awards for their performances in this film, while Blanchett was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Two friends and convicts, Joe (Bruce Willis) and Terry (Billy Bob Thornton), break out of Oregon State Penitentiary in a concrete mixing truck and start a bank robbing spree, hoping to fund a dream they share. They become known as the "Sleepover Bandits" because of their modus operandi: they kidnap the manager of a target bank the night before a planned robbery, then spend the night with the manager's family; early the next morning, they accompany the manager to the bank to get their money. Using dim-witted would-be stunt man Harvey Pollard (Troy Garity) as their getaway driver and lookout, the three successfully pull off a series of robberies that gets them recognition on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.
When Kate, a housewife with a failing marriage (Cate Blanchett), decides to run away, she ends up in the hands of the criminals. Initially attracted to Joe, she also ends up in bed with Terry and a confused love triangle begins.
The three of them go on the lam and manage to pull off a few more robberies, but after a while the two begin to fight over Kate, and she decides to leave them. The two criminals then decide to pull off one last job.
The story is told in flashbacks, framed by the story of the pair's last robbery of the Alamo Bank, as told by Criminals at Large, a fictional reality television show. The show tells the story of the last job to be a failure when Kate tips off the police and the two are caught in the act. The two then begin to argue when Joe tells the police "You won't take us alive!" and the argument gets to the point where the two of them shoot each other dead.
At the end of the film the real story behind the last job is revealed: Harvey used some of his special effects to make it seem as though Terry and Joe were shooting each other. Harvey and his girlfriend then ran in dressed as paramedics and placed the stolen money, Terry, and Joe in body bags. In the ambulance, Harvey uses electronics to blow out his tires which sends the ambulance into a junkyard. Under his jumpsuit, Harvey was wearing a fire suit. He lights himself on fire and rigs a bomb to go off. Kate, Harvey, Harvey's girlfriend, Terry, and Joe flee the scene, leading officials to believe the bodies were burned.
Reunited, Joe, Terry, Harvey and Kate make it to Mexico to live out their dream. The last scene shows Harvey getting married in Mexico and Kate kissing Joe and Terry passionately.
- Bruce Willis as Joe Blake
- Billy Bob Thornton as Terry Collins
- Cate Blanchett as Kate Wheeler
- Troy Garity as Harvey Pollard
- Brian F. O'Byrne as Darill Miller
- Stacey Travis as Cloe Miller
- Bobby Slayton as Darren Head
- January Jones as Claire
- Peggy Miley as Mildred Kronenberg
- William Converse-Roberts as Charles Wheeler
- Richard Riehle as Lawrence Fife
- "Gallows Pole" – Jimmy Page & Robert Plant
- "Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum" – Bob Dylan
- "Holding Out for a Hero" – Bonnie Tyler
- "Twist in My Sobriety" – Tanita Tikaram
- "Rudiger" – Mark Knopfler
- "Just Another" – Pete Yorn
- "Walk On By" – Aretha Franklin
- "Superman (It's Not Easy)" – Five for Fighting
- "Crazy 'Lil Mouse" – In Bloom
- "Just the Two of Us" – Bill Withers and Grover Washington, Jr.
- "Wildfire" – Michael Martin Murphey
- "Total Eclipse of the Heart" – Bonnie Tyler
- "Bandits Suite" – Christopher Young
- "Beautiful Day" - U2
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Bandits holds a 65% "fresh" rating based on 139 reviews, with an average rating of 6.1/10. Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 60 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".