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Episode 47 - Bandits

posted Mar 1, 2020, 4:03 PM by Joreth InnKeeper   [ updated Mar 8, 2020, 9:58 PM ]

Bandits (2001) 
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0219965/ - IMDB
http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Bandits/60021636 - Netflix
http://amzn.to/2vOvGQd - Amazon

It's past time that I did a review of Bandits, but for some reason I keep putting it off. This is a quirky story of 2 mismatched bank robbers and the woman who comes between them. And it's a poly movie, and one of my favorite movies, poly or no.

Bruce Willis plays a gruff, stoic, spontaneous bank robber with a temper problem named Joseph. We first meet him in prison, where he's shackled to Terry (played by Billy Bob Thornton), a neurotic, hypochondriac, obsessively compulsive thief who can't shut the fuck up. Joseph wants to escape, but being shackled to Terry necessarily requires Terry's cooperation. One day, in the prison yard, Joseph spontaneously makes their escape, much to over-planning Terry's annoyance. But escape they do, and they continue their bank robbing career once on the outside.

But then Terry starts running the numbers, and decides that the risk of being re-captured is not worth the traditional bank jobs that they usually do. So he comes up with the idea to visit the bank manager's house the night before, and then enlist the manager's unwilling cooperation when he opens the bank the next morning, before the customers or any employees arrive. This works out so well, that it earns them the moniker The Sleepover Bandits.

During a nearly botched escape, Terry ends up running into Kate ... or rather, Kate ends up running into Terry. Literally. Kate is a flighty, also neurotic, lonely housewife with a mischievous streak who is fleeing from her loveless marriage when she stumbles upon the exciting life of the notorious bank robbers.

And so follows their tale, as Kate gets to know the two men independently, and each of the men gets to know her, and all their respective relationships flourish and flounder amidst the backdrop of their turbulent career choices.

It's a really interestingly shot film, with a mixture of classic action film sequences, "buddy robber" scenes, romance scenes, and "mockumentary" scenes with footage from an interview that the Sleepover Bandits give to a journalist about their fame and exploits intermixed among the regular movie scenes. The characters seem a little superficial and one-dimensional, but I think we get to see a little depth as the plot progresses, and I, at least, started to care about the characters about halfway through (although it was hard for me to empathize much with them - Terry just bugs the shit out of me).

I was already poly by the time this movie came out, but I did not realize this was a poly movie before I saw it. I think I was actually a bit trepidatious about seeing it, because I don't tend to go in much for artsy, indie films and I think I had the impression that this was that kind of movie. But I ended up really liking it in spite of myself, and I liked the strain that Kate found herself under as she realized that she loved two men who were very different from each other and gave her very different kinds of relationships - relationships that she could not possibly have with the other one and relationships that both brought value to her life for their uniqueness and individuality.

It would be nice, though, for a movie heroine caught between two lovers to not declare that, mixed together, the combined men make up the perfect man. I really don't approve of the Frankenpartner sentiment to polyamory. But I think her point is that each man is unique & she can't get from one what she gets from the other, and I think that point comes across clearly.

I recommend watching this movie. We showed it at our local Poly Movie Nights, and it was a big hit with the whole audience.

You've been reading Poly-ish Movie Reviews, with your host, Joreth, where I watch the crap so you don't have to!