Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gilliam at his Best, 6 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Time Bandits [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
For my money, Terry Gilliam is one of the more innovative, creative, and fantastical directors of the last two decades. His films easily bear his stamp of absurdist humour, witty dialogue, sheer fantasy, dream-like sequences, and always a generous dose of black comedy. Time Bandits is certainly no exception, but rather a stepping stone for greater works such as The Fisher King and the wonderful Brazil. The film tells the story of a group of dwarf-like "crooks" who leave their jobs with God(the Supreme Being) for a life of crime via a map they have "stolen" from their job place. This map holds all the secrets to time holes in the fabric of creation. Thus the bearers of the map can go forward and back in time as they please. They use the map to steal, at which they have little skill, and become rich, at which they miserably fail. Gilliam transports them and us through time to meet such interesting notables as Robin Hood, Napoleon, Agammenon, and the Evil Genius(devil-like entity). The film is grand in its scope and still wanting, for it is tackling a story of epic proportions. Still, Gilliam delivers a pretty good film both visually stunning in certain sequences and brimming with philosophical questions such as the necessity of evil and the election of choice in life. The film is also very funny in many parts, due in large part to a great cast. The protagonists are all quite good. John Cleese plays as likable a Robin Hood to be seen with his almost overly polite manner. The best performances go to Ian Holm, playing a drunken Napoleon obsessed with his size, David Warner, playing the malevolent Evil Genius with relish, and lastly to Sir Ralph Richardson, playing the Supreme Being like a bureaucrat concerned with balancing payroll and the like. Gilliam explores the bureaucratic mentality with even more scope in his Brazil. All in all, Time Bandits is a fun and entertaining picture.
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