Bandidas Movie Review
What do you get when you put two hot Latina women in a cliche action comedy about female bank robbers in Mexico? A movie that has been delayed for over a year and finally given a proper burial with a limited release.
Bandidas stars Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz as two women who realize that the future of Mexico rests in their hands. In a time where American financial conquests are expanding into their homeland, by force if necessary, wealthy, European-educated Sara Sandoval faces hardship for the first time when her successful father is murdered at the hands of evil railroad tycoons. After much arguing, she teams up with local beauty Maria Alvarez to start robbing banks for reasons I honestly can't remember. The two eventually join forces with one lucky Steve Zahn to go after those responsible for all the bad things in life.
The two leads make a duo to be reckoned with, as their bust lines alone are worth ticket price. Of course, Bandidas is rated PG-13 so don't expect too much - the most titillating scene is one where Zahn is tied to a bed and the two ladies practice kissing him while also capturing blackmail photos, if you get my meaning.
Unfortunately, there's not much else here. An action-comedy by classification only, the movie is neither funny nor action-packed, although it does have its moments. Zahn, who is generally quite funny, really never gains much momentum here, and the two women are so stupid at times that it is hard to get into their characters. They are so clueless when it comes to robbing banks that you really feel sorry for their parents for giving birth to such creatures, yet it is quite clear that screenwriters Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen didn't intend for them to come off as so stupid.
While not an especially interesting film, I'm still surprised this picture wasn't realeased wide. After all, the movie stars two popular actresses and Steve Zahn, and boasts a fairly harmless plot - with the proper marketing this movie could have least done well on opening weekend.
Regardless, Bandidas has its moments but fails to capitalize on its potential, as its muddled, cliche plot lacks the edge it needed to get off the ground. Neither Hayak or Cruz are at the top of their game, and the movie suffers because of it.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.