de: A
   For a silly Saturday afternoon adventure take in Bandits. It's a charming film that's filled with giggles. This film never presents itself as a full blown comedy thereby managing to keep a dramatic flair which is pleasing to the intellect as well.
   Bandits opens in an Oregon prison where Joe Blake (Bruce Willis) and Terry Collins (Billy Bob Thornton) are incarcerated for some unknown crime. Joe has a hankering for a burger and a good night's sleep. Without much forethought he hijacks a cement truck (into which befuddled Terry climbs aboard) and blasts out of prison.
   Within short order the two have changed vehicles and are needing some cash, so together they knock over their first bank using a magic marker as a weapon. Thus starts the remarkable career of two of the most notorious and likable bank robbers in history.
   Joe seems to have a goal in mind, and that is to own a resort south of the border - but he doesn't really have a plan for making that happen, other than to rob banks. Terry on the other hand, has a plan which involves taking bank managers hostage the night before and going to work with them in the morning. It's a winning plan and one that works really well because these bank robbers have manners, and a general interest in the welfare of others.
   Terry is a hypochondriac to the nth degree. He's constantly taking pills to ward off the latest disease he's heard about, and he can rattle off the most bizarre symptoms and circumstances for death due to disease. But, he's a really nice guy and he's a great cook to boot.
   Joe is a suave and mysterious, tough-guy kind of fellow that appeals to women in general. Together, they make the perfect man for the perfect woman - a fact that presents problems down the road.
   Bank robbers need getaway drivers and Joe has just the person in mind, Terry's intelligence-challenged cousin Harvey (Troy Garity), who dreams of being a Hollywood stunt man.
   After their first official heist the trio separate for two weeks (because the police are looking for two men, not solo guys). Somewhere along the way Terry needs an escape route out of what could be a tricky situation involving police. In a sloppy attempt to hijack a passing motorist he gets himself run over by Kate (Cate Blanchett).
   Kate has a marriage going nowhere and so she clamps onto Terry like a raccoon with her hand caught in a jar.
   She flatly refuses to surrender her car under any circumstances because she is emotionally overwrought and doesn't want to be left alone. It's a choice which leads to a complicated love story, and a happy ending.
   This star studded movie is full of fun and adventure, and it doesn't take itself seriously at all. The entire cast are perfect in their roles, and you can tell they are having fun with their characters.
   Cate Blanchett is an intriguing and engaging actor and I always enjoy watching her on the silver screen. Her role as Kate is an integral part of this story, which helps bring loose ends together. Bandits even comes with a few twists that will make you wonder right up to the end. It's a fun film to watch and a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
   **** Bandits is rated PG-13 for some sexual contest, language and violence.
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