Time Bandits was the first time that Terry Gilliam was really considered a director of note. I know he had done Jabberwocky previously but I don’t think that was really taken seriously by anyone except as a doodle by someone from Monty Python. I still don’t think that anyone takes the film seriously even among Gilliam fans. It’s his first feature and its noted as that and little more.(at some point I’ll write that film up)
Bandits on the other hand was something different. It was a look at the wonders that were to come, even if we didn’t know it yet.
Time Bandits is the story of a small boy who gets mixed up with a bunch of little people who have stolen a map of the universe and are using the holes in time to pillage the universe and amass a fortune. Of course Evil(played by a wonderful David Warner) wants the map and makes plans to steal it.
The film is a boys own adventure something akin to cowriter Michael Palin’s and Terry Jones Ripping Yarns but on a cosmic level and forced threw Gilliam’s mind. It’s a blast and a half.
It also contains the line “Mom. Dad. Don’t Touch it it’s evil” which I quote probably on a daily basis whenever I run across something that shouldn’t be touched.
I remember going to see the film in the movie theater. It was one of the very few times that my Dad and my Mom went to the movies with us kids. It was in a tiny cinema that was a converted movie theater balcony. So many people had bought tickets on opening night that they were seating people on the stairs, completely unsafe but it made it one of the few times when you could say a place was filled to the rafters.
I suppose there should be a point to this piece, but in all honesty I can’t find one. Perhaps the whole point is to simply say that Time Bandits is a great deal of fun and you should see it. I know there are a couple of different special edition out there, each with a different commentary track, but for me the best is the Criterion one, but it is a tad pricey so you may want to get one of the other cheaper editions. However you see it , just see it, and trust me it’s not evil.