Time Bandits

"Extraordinary"

Time Bandits Review


History belongs to the victors, and Terry Gilliam takes his rightful ownership of Western history in this timeless romp through the ages. Writer and director of some of Monty Python's most enduring and foolish productions, Gilliam reaches the top of his form with Time Bandits.

Young Kevin (Craig Warnock) is a history buff trapped in the household of his shallow, materialistic parents. While they sit mindlessly in front of the television, absorbed in an insanely morbid game show, Kevin explores his history books enthusiastically, fantasizing about a more meaningful world than the one in which he lives. But when his parents finally send him to bed, his world gets a lot more interesting.

Led by a band of five midget bandits, Kevin steps through the doorway of time and lands in an adventure like none he's imagined. With a map stolen from the Supreme Being who created the universe, the misfit adventurers scurry from era to era robbing from some of history's best known figures.

Along the way, a familiar cast greets our travelers. Ian Holm is a ridiculously size-obsessed Napoleon Bonaparte who loses his wealth to the tiny thieves. John Cleese appears as Robin Hood in a sequence hilariously reminiscent of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Sean Connery plays a sober and valiant Agamemnon. And Shelley Duvall appears with film co-writer Michael Palin as a luckless lover in multiple scenes.

A highlight of the movie is David Warner's performance as Evil, the sinister being who plots to escape his fortress of darkness and destroy the world. Backed by his brigade of moronic lackeys, he lures to travelers out of the conventional timeline and into the Age of Legends (in which Katherine Helmond appears in a memorable role as the wife of the hapless Ogre), which leads them to certain doom.

With the possible exception of Brazil, Time Bandits displays the most inventive and amusing blend of set design, costuming, and effects of Gilliam's career. Certainly his later films benefit from advances in technology, but the imaginative triumph of Bandits transcends technical limitations. Even the absurdly simplistic spacecraft in the film's final scene is finely detailed in its own odd way, and Gilliam's direction lifts this cast over some of the sets' less awe-inspiring features.

Tongue-in-cheek bravado has carried the Python players a long way from their 1969 Flying Circus, and Gilliam has contributed to this success every step of the way. Time Bandits is essential viewing for anyone who has every laughed at a Monty Python sketch. Sure, Holy Grail has captured the pop culture spotlight, but this film plays more like an actual movie. This is the film Grail longed to be.



Time Bandits

Facts and Figures

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Friday 6th November 1981

Box Office Worldwide: $42.4M

Budget: $5M

Distributed by: Paramount Home Video

Production compaines: Handmade Films Ltd.

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Fresh: 37 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Robin Hood, as King Agamemnon / Fireman, as Dame Pansy / Pansy, as Mrs. Ogre, as Napoleon, as Fidgit, as Vincent, as Supreme Being, as Winston the Ogre, as Evil Genius, as Randall, as Strutter, as Og, as Wally, as Vermin

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.