Time Bandits (1981)

You know it’s been a hell of a week when Movie Night is just dedicated to actors who have recently died. Case in point, Mr. David Warner passed away at the age of 80, just shy of his 81st birthday (which is today, by the way). There were so many things we could’ve watched to remember him–one friend suggested Tron, I had In the Mouth of Madness queued up, and there was the possibility of just watching several episodes of Batman: The Animated Series that featured Ra’s al Ghul. But in the end it turned out that most of us hadn’t seen Time Bandits, so we went with that. And it was goofy fun!

A young boy named Kevin gets swept up in the time travelling plans of a group of dwarves, using a time map to steal from historical figures including Napoleon (RIP Ian Holm) and King Agamemnon (RIP Sean Connery). But the personification of Evil (RIP David Warner) wants the map so he can recreate reality in his image, which is a dangerous plot undercut by the fact that this was made for kids so he’s surrounded by bumbling lackeys. After several misadventures and a big fight, Evil is defeated with the help of the Supreme Being (RIP Ralph Richardson). Kevin is returned to his home, where his house burns down and his parents explode. Then… wait, no, that’s the end of the film. Huh. Sure. Enjoy the British foster care system!

I found the whole thing to be dumb fun. Like sure, I did tune out a little bit during the climactic battle, but that’s just big dumb fight scenes in general. The movie’s comedic without being too in your face and is just generally enjoyable. Has my expectation of movies made for kids–which Time Bandits is arguably for–become so low that I expected this to be worse? I guess so! Pleasantly surprised to be wrong about this one.

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