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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > Comedy > Bandidas (2006/DVD-Video)

Bandidas (2006/DVD-Video)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Film: C



For years, Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz have wanted to work together on a feature project.  They are two of the industries most underrated actresses and there is great potential in such a pairing.  They finally found a project with Bandidas, a 2006 release co-produced by Luc Besson.  Being no fan of just about anything Besson is connected with I expected disaster, especially one co-written by Besson.  Though the co-directed effort (by Joachim Roenning & Espen Sandberg) is flat, forgettable and a big missed opportunity when over, Cruz and Hayek are terrific in every scene they do.


Hayek is Sara Sandoval, a loving daughter who has an older father she is very devoted to.  When he suddenly dies and their farm suddenly goes to the evil Tyler Jackson (an effective Dwight Yoakam) for the insanely low fee of one peso, something is very wrong here and she flees.  In the midst of this, she meets the pampered upscale Maria Alvarez (Cruz) and there is an immediate personality clash.  Of course, when things get worse, they become the title partners and start robbing banks with revenge against Jackson thrown in.


Steve Zahn is New York detective Quentin Cooke, hired by Jackson to use his skills to track them gals down, including ludicrous attempts at psychological profiling.  The gals get their hands on him and things get wackier.  I give Zahn credit for doing his comedy with some restraint, while the chemistry between Hayek & Cruz is the one thing that saves this from being an outright turkey.  Too bad it was not a better flick, as it could have been a sleeper hit increasing the box office clout of all.


The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is a little softer than one would have liked, with muted color aside from cinematographer Thierry Arbogast.  The source is clean, but the phony daytime look suggests this might have shot in digital High Definition.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes lack surrounds except when Eric Serra’s mixed score or bullets kick in.  Extras include a lesser pan and scan version of the film, audio commentary by Penelope & Salma, the original theatrical trailer and "Burning up the Set with Salma and Penelope" featurette.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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