Most of us either love Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits or have a lot of fondness for it — but Captain Max and Jinx have collected all of the movie's most scathing one-star reviews from Amazon.com, so you can peer into the minds of people who feel very differently.
Last week was a bit of a Terry Gilliam week for me (also a Doctor Who week, but that's obvious). Early in the week, we learned that Gilliam planned to start working on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote again and Friday was his 73rd birthday. To celebrate, I decided to sit down with the mini-nerd and watch Time Bandits.
First I just want to say, if you are going to sit down and watch Time Bandits, I highly recommend that you watch it with a child. It had been many years since I had seen the movie and I wasn't sure how it was going to hold up, but the experience of how much my daughter enjoyed it was fantastic.
Time Bandits came out in 1981. It was written by Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam. Gilliam also produced and directed it. The movie follows the story of Kevin, an imaginative English boy who falls into an adventure with the titular Time Bandits played by David Rappaport, Kenny Baker, Malcolm Dixon, Mike Edwards, Jack Purvis and Tiny Ross. The group of six bandits work for The Supreme Being and were in charge of making trees until they were demoted to repairs. The Supreme Being gave them a map to find and fix all of the holes in the universe, which they decided to use to steal from history and get rich. Evil, played by David Warner, wants to get a hold of the map so that he can escape from his imprisonment in the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness.
Gilliam considers Time Bandits to be the first part of a trilogy of connected films, with Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen being the second and third films respectively. These films all share a theme about the importance of imagination especially in our modern age. This message seems to have been lost on most of our 1-Star Reviewers. On to the reviews!
There are 330 reviews for Time Bandits on Amazon.com. Of these, 43 of them are 1-Star reviews and amazingly 31 of these are directly related to the quality of the movie. A lot of the reviews are short, one line usually and not especially interesting. Here we go:
Save your dough.
A british kid goes on adventures with a bunch of hammy-acting little people. At the end, his parents die for no apparant reason. (Before some film school moron e-mails me with the reason, I got it. It was just dumb.)
Get "Brazil" or "Munchausen" instead. Gilliam's off his game here. Or try "12 monkeys." That's a great film
I wonder if he still got e-mails from film school morons, just because. There is a disproportionately high disregard for film school on Amazon reviews. I wonder why that is. As far as "hammy-acting little people" I think the six actors who played the Time Bandits were excellent.
An Insane Movie
This is a lousy movie. Thankgoodness for modern technology and better stories in todays world. The age of this film is all that keeps this movie from ultimate destruction. Someone please tell me why anyone would steal and run from a God?! That is pretty sad. No one could possibly believe that they could actually succeed in such a hopeless adventure. And why would god test ultimate evil? This movie is terrible. This movie just dosen't work.
P.S. This movie only deserves 1/2 a star if not less. Unfortunately this rate a DVD thing won't give me the options I WANT.
Remember what I wrote above about Gilliam's running theme of the importance of imagination? This is the reason right here. Read the second line again: "Thankgoodness for modern technology and better stories in todays world." Yes, thank goodness for green screen and countless remakes and gritty reboots. What a magical age of film we're in.
Very boring, depressing and confusing movie. Definitely anti-Christian, perhaps even anti-religion. Not a movie for anyone who has a positive, optimistic outlook.
I don't get this at all. The movie obviously heavily implies that the Supreme Being is God, but I didn't pick up on many anti-Christian messages in the film. It could be argued that the film is anti-technology and highly encourages belief.
Didn't dig it
This must be something kids watch, but I could not get into it. Having just read extensively on Napoleon, I was immediately turned off by this cartoon character with absolutely not even a hint of historical accuracy. I know this is a fantasy film based on comedy. But they could have at least made Napoleon look like himself, which at 1796 as depicted here, he would have been a very young man with very long hair and skinny. Here, he is shown as a middle aged Englishman. Wasn't funny. I ejected after half an hour.
Time Bandits, a fantasy movie about a group of thieves traveling through holes in time left over from the creation of the universe, depicts Napoleon in a way that is not historically accurate. 1-STAR!!!!
my mother said this movie was really bad BUT GUESS WHAT it was even worse the other time when forget it
What the hell? That's the entire review! Was it the best or was it really bad? What about the other time? I need
Another Gilliam Directorial Crapfest...
Time Bandits is awful. As awful as Jabberwocky if you can believe it.
The only post-Python Gilliam-directed film I can recommend is 12 Monkeys. In films like Brazil and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Gilliam hits us with crazy visuals...acid trips and fantasies...that go on and on and on until the credits roll. No plot, no involvement, no point at all.
If you've ever seen Lost in La Mancha, you were probably saddened by all the events that led to the cancellation of Gilliam's Don Quixote film...from the lead actor breaking bones, to a flood that destroyed expensive equipment. But after seeing some of Gilliam's other films, I'm now convinced that those events were:
"A blessing! A blessing from the Lord! God be praised!"
Well, Amazon reviewer, guess what? Terry Gilliam is going to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote! And why would you use Holy Grail quotes to insult Terry Gilliam as a director? He co-directed that movie! You almost got meanest review for celebrating the failure of a man's dream, but not quite.
Here it is. The Meanest 1-Star Review!
Very Stupid Movie
This movie must be over-hyped by someone connected with the movie itself. It is incredibly dumb. The Stars promoted John Cleese, etc.) have very small roles in the movie. John Cleese in only in the movie for a very very few minutes, and is not funny at all. The main characters are the Little People (Midgets). Its a total waste of time, very stupid, and certainly a waste of money. Buy ANY OTHER MOVIE on Amazon.....it will be at least 10 times better than this VERY STUPID MOVIE.
The content of your review is not especially mean except for one thing. One very big thing. Why was it necessary to put "Midgets" in there? Congratulations, I guess.