Gilliam and Palin, from Monty Python's Flying Circus, masterminded this madcap journey through history. A curious boy, Kevin (David Warnock) is whisked out of his dreary English home by six mischievous dwarfs who possess a map stolen from the Supreme Being (Sir Ralph Richardson) that
reveals gaps in the universe. Utilizing these "time holes," they travel through history encountering the likes of Robin Hood (Cleese), Greek warrior King Agamemnon (Connery), and Napoleon (Holm)--and robbing them of their treasures. God wants his map back and he keeps popping up at the most
inopportune times for Kevin and the time bandits. The Evil Genius (David Warner) also wants to get his hands on this great treasure. Who will win?
This wild and sometimes woolly fantasy is delivered in the customary chaotic Python style, resulting in an onslaught of witticisms and slapstick. We can also see definite signs of the major filmmaker Gilliam (director of BRAZIL, THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHHAUSEN, THE FISHER KING) would later
become. In many ways, this remains his most satisfying film. However, be warned; this film is unusually dark for a modern children's film. At times a grimly comic fairy tale, TIME BANDITS offers little reassurance. It's a tough world out there--even in our imaginative life. Perhaps that is why we
need heroes so badly.
Connery, in particular, stands out in a sterling cast. His portrayal of Agamemnon emerges as an idealized surrogate father that any boy would love to have. Cleese is priceless as a primly officious Robin Hood. The band of little people is also splendid, especially the late David Rappaport as their
leader, Randall. Chances are good that this eccentric film will gain in stature in the years to come.
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