John Cleese. Sean Connery. Old-school effects. Comedy. I really, really wanted to like this film. On paper, it sounds fantastic: a kid gets suddenly transported into another realm when he meets a group of time-travelling dwarves who have stolen a magical map from God. Switching time periods as often as a woman changes her mind, they navigate the universe with their stolen goods, all the while trying to evade both the Supreme Being and the Personification of Ultimate Evil.
Sounds great, right? Especially for a relaxed evening in with a glass of wine and a bar of chocolate. But I just couldn’t get into it. Maybe I’m too jaded, but the jokes were few, the appearance of John Cleese was momentary and even Sean Connery popping up from time to time couldn’t quite salvage this movie.
If you liked it when it first came out, you’ll no doubt still like it now; the digital restoration has been done very well, and everything looks right. It just lacks something essential. A little more of Cleese’s magic might have done the trick. Or a child who wasn’t so gratingly saccharine.
I’d steer clear of this; if you’re looking for old school, dust off your copy of Jason and the Argonauts and enjoy that instead.
Time Bandits comes out on DVD & Blu-Ray on the 26th of August 2013.