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"All the dreams you've ever had and not just the good ones."

The Supreme Being created the universe. "Well, he created all the big stuf," explains Randall, lead dwarf in Time Bandits. The Supreme Being, SB for short, actually delegated the little things to flunkies. Randall and his five fellow dwarfs were in charge of small bushes and trees until they got demoted to fixing holes. "See creation was kind of a rush job. We only had six days to do it. So, there were some mistakes." continues Randall. He, Fidgit, Strutter, Og, Wally and Vermin decide that instead of fixing the holes, they will use them become master thieves. Their plan is to hop through time and space stealing everything not nailed down.

During one hop, they land in the room of Kevin, a typical modern child who is ignored by his parents and who dream of legends. The SB chases the dwarfs who flee into a time hole taking Kevin with them. They are dropped outside the eighteenth century town of Castiglione currently being sacked by Napoleon. They rob Napoleon blind and escape. The next hole dumps them into medieval England where Robin Hood gives all their loot to the poor. The film follows the merry thieves through history. Kevin finds a replacement father in King Agamemnon, but is ripped away by the dwarfs.

Ultimate Evil, the villain, pulls the adventurers into the "Time of Legend" to seek the "Most Fabulous Object in the World." They are captured by Evil, but the dwarfs use a time hole to go for help. Poor Kevin must confront evil alone until his friends return. In the end only the SB can stop Evil and put everything right. He gives the dwarfs their jobs back with a punitive pay cut. Kevin is sent back to his own time and told to "carry on the fight." However, he still has all his pictures including one of the map.

Amid all the silliness and time-hopping, Time Bandits includes universal themes. "What is the nature of good and evil?" "What is the meaning of existence?" "What is the purpose of free will?" These underlying themes provide food for thought for adults while they laugh along with their children at the outrageous antics of Kevin, Randall, Fidgit, Strutter, Og, Wally and Vermin.

| 1981 | 1 hr 56 min | 7.0/10 | 79/100
John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, Katherine Helmond
Handmade Films, Janus Films
Terry Gilliam

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Chris Wilkinson on TIME BANDITS|3:17

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