Starring: Penelope Cruz, Salma Hayek, Steve Zahn, Dwight Yoakam, Sam Shepard, José María Negri, Denis Arndt, and Audra Blaser
Directors: Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg
Rating: Six of Ten Stars
Two young Mexican women from wildly different backgrounds--one is a wealthy, European educated sophisticate (Hayek) and the other is a rough-and-tumble farm girl (Cruz)--team up with an American criminologist (Zahn) to stop a rogue agent of a major American bank (Yoakam) from driving poor famers from their land to make way for the railroad.
"Bandidas" is an action/comedy heist movie set in the late 1800s. It's about as predictable as it could possible be (with one tiny little twist toward the end that I didn't see coming), but it is so breezy and fun, and its two very attractive leads are so charming and sexy that it really doesn't matter. Penelope Cruz's performances is especially fun, and Salma Hayek's cleavage is always a welcome sight.
This is probably one of the better, completely forgettable eye-candy movies I've seen. It was a fun way to spend an hour-and-a-half, and I'm surprised this movie never saw a wide North American release; it's got some plot elements that could be construed as anti-American, but it's far better than some of blatantly political and America-hating crap that was in movie theaters around the time it was made. (Or maybe that's why it didn't see wider release. It wasn't anti-American enough.)
If you like light-hearted westerns that feature explosions, train robberies, and darkhaired beauties in cleavage-revealing tops, this is a film that's worth a look.