Friday, February 3, 2017

Time Bandits Movie Review

Time Bandits (1981)
Buy Time Bandits on Amazon
Written by: Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam
Directed by: Terry Gilliam
Starring: Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, John Cleese
Rated: PG

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

A young boy joins a group of time traveling dwarves seeking treasure.

This movie taps into a child's imagination, and thus it's best if you watch it with that mindset. It's a fun adventure with witty dialog and a commentary on imagination, adventure, and the universe.
Watch it.

This is part of Gilliam's imagination trilogy, followed by Brazil (1985) and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988). In these films, the protagonist uses imagination to escape the struggles of daily life.

This is aimed squarely at kids. Kevin is mostly ignored by his parents, entertaining himself with an active imagination and a fervor for history. His parents order him to bed, telling him "No noise." despite the television being so loud he can barely him them. It captures that disconnect between children and parents from the child's point of view.

Kevin wants to capture a photo of a medieval knight that rode out of his wardrobe the previous night. While he saw it and was transported to a forest, when he looked again he's back in his room with a picture he drew that makes you wonder if it was his imagination.
On the next night, Kevin finds time traveling dwarves that take him on a sprawling adventure where he meets Napoleon, Robin hood, and King Agamemnon.

Kevin experiences a fantastical journey, everything a kid could imagine. This feels very '80s with the setting and tone. The dwarves are pursued by Evil and the Supreme Being is a suit wearing bureaucrat. The Supreme Being helps them in the end, assuring that everything is under control. It's a parallel between his parents, a stand offish guardian that leaves him alone.

Kevin wakes up in his bedroom, causing us to wonder if it was all a dream, an adventure of the imagination. We don't wonder long, Kevin still has his pictures from the adventure. I was surprised at the fate of his parents!

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