Bandits (1997)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Chase Movie, Escape Film, Road Movie  |   Release Date - Sep 24, 1999 (USA)  |   Run Time - 150 min.  |   Countries - Germany , France   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Tiffany DeVos

A band of female mavericks celebrates the simultaneous pleasures of escape and renown in this feature-length, fictional rockumentary by Katja von Garnier. Their flight from prison and the widespread popular success of their band ensures hot pursuit for the "Bandits," whose unremarkable singles are more titillating as prison artifacts than as rock. Action shots and car chases abound, and von Garnier rarely misses a chance to exploit the drama of highways, bridges, or rooftops as sites for music videos. The four women play pranks on the police, confront their images everywhere, play gigs off the beaten path, and get the better of a sleazy producer, all with infectious energy and zeal. Yet despite their semblance of recklessness and abandon, the characters are increasingly -- and predictably -- constrained by their notoriety. Far from a critique of the prison system or the treatment of inmates, this film presents its characters as immature, endearing semi-delinquents incapable of sustaining a life outside the penitentiary. (#Bandits) takes a large part of its allure from the erotic subtext of the chase and a sexualized view of the female prisoner and her capture. Without examining these points, von Garnier manages to create an energetic, if not quite inspiring, film.