YMMV / Time Bandits

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The Time Bandits themselves - a collective Villain Protagonist group? Hero Antagonist? Lovable rogues? Bratty man children?
    • The Supreme Being. His vague answer when asked why he made all these people die just to test his own creationnote , to some, hint at him being a Jerkass God; there's even the hypothesis that when he answered "Something to do with free will, I think" to the question "Why must we have Evil?", he wasn't talking about Man's free will, but about his own free will (e.g., he's the Creator, so he can do as he goddamn well please).
    • Was Evil literally the embodiment of evil, as his fate after he blows up seems to indicate? Or is he merely an Ax-Crazy Evil Sorcerer with delusions of godhood?
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The opening and closing theme, as well as George Harrison's song "Dream Away" during the end credits. (Harrison produced the film.)
  • Esoteric Happy Ending - Judging by the very negative portrayal of consumerism and mundane thinking that Kevin's parents represent, the filmmakers might see their total destruction to be a good thing for Kevin in the long run.
  • Genius Bonus - The unspoken tension between Agamemnon and his wife is a reference to their fate in Greek mythology: their marriage ends in murder. It's perhaps best that Kevin isn't around for that.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The Supreme Being's head chasing the Time Bandits.
    • Evil's army. As if a hoard of screeching, 8 ft. tall creatures with hook hands and cow skull heads weren't scary enough, they can also shoot missiles out of their eyes.
    • The game show Kevin's parents watch, Your Money or Your Life, is terrifying. At one point the host is badgering an old woman to answer a question with an unfailing, eerie grin, while her partner hangs from a rope over a vat. She's terrified beyond reason and can't answer the question, and later we get a shot of the man floating face-down.
  • One-Scene Wonder: John Cleese as Robin Hood, Ian Holm as Napoleon and Sean Connery as Agamemnon.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Well, rather a Brick Joke. The Supreme Being notes about pure evil that "one drop could turn you all into hermit crabs". When Kevin's parents wind up coming in contact with it later, they just blow up.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Jim Broadbent is the host of Your Money or Your Life.
    Host: The map. Please.
  • Special Effect Failure: When two gates appear at the same time, one is more lightly shaded, probably due to the animation process of layering on two gates.
  • What an Idiot!: Kevin is teleported back to his room, which is filled with smoke and firemen are in his house because the family microwave caused the fire. His parents find a strange-looking rock inside the microwave. Kevin warns them not to touch it.
    You'd expect that they give the firemen the microwave or just don't touch the rock.
    Instead they touch it and explode.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs? - The weirdness builds up during the entire movie. Once the protagonists enter the Time of Legends, it gets downright trippy, with the final showdown against Evil as one of the most surreal moments in the history of cinema.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The film was rated PG, but this was before PG-13 was introduced - a lot of kids were halfway traumatized by some of the visuals.