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Film / Bandidas

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Sara and Maria.

Bandidas is a 2006 Western action comedy film produced and directed by Joachim Ring and Espen Sandberg and starring Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek.

It tells the story of two very different young women, Maria Alvarez (Cruz) and Sara Sandoval (Hayek). After the death of Sara's wealthy landowner father, and the attempted murder of several poor farmers including Maria's father, at the hands of American land baron Tyler Jackson (Dwight Yoakam), they join forces to rob banks and give the money to the poor. At first they don't get along very well and can barely rob anything, but after training with a famous bank robber, Bill Buck (Sam Shepard), they take a level in badass, Maria becoming a Gunslinger and Sara a knife user (something to do with her inability to hold a gun without having hiccups). Later on they meet Quentin Cooke (Steve Zahn), a scientist and criminal investigator brought in by Jackson to help catch the bandidas. The girls capture him, and after realizing who the real criminal is, he decides to help them. And then stuff happens...

It is noted for being the first movie in which Cruz and Hayek ever worked together and for its huge amounts of Fanservice.

Bandidas contain examples of:

  • Action Girls: Maria and Sara, the titular "bandidas" (literally "female bandits" in Spanish) who both wield guns or knives while robbing several banks.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Both girls' Animal Companions seem to be very intelligent.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: In the final face-off between the Bandidas and Jackson, Maria tries to shoot Jackson, only to discover she's out of bullets. Jackson turns around with his own pistol and a gunshot is heard as the camera cuts to Maria's flinching reaction, appearing to have been shot. It's actually Jackson who drops dead, shot by Sara, who'd foregone guns until then.
  • Betty and Veronica: Maria and Sara respectively. Both girls fall in love with Quentin (he probably falls for them too) and start competing for whom is the best kisser (with Quentin as the judge of course). As expected he can't decide. By the end it is Inverted, because he already had his fiancée Clarissa, who was his first option, not the third.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jackson is about to kill his boss, Clarissa's father, when the Bandidas and Quentin bust in and order everyone to freeze.
  • Book Dumb: Maria doesn't have much (if anything) in the way of formal education.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Jackson dies, courtesy of Sara.
  • Bullet Time: When the Bandidas face off against Jackson in the climax.
  • Canine Companion: Stinky for the Bandidas, only because its owner's last command (before getting offed by Jackson) was for it to watch Sara while he was gone.
  • Cat Fight: Maria and Sara throw down in a church over the money they robbed, which Maria wants to use to help the poor, and Sara wants to keep because it belonged to her father.
  • Character Tics: Sara gets the hiccups when nervous. It severely hinders her shooting ability.
  • Comforting Comforter: One night while training under Bill Buck, Sara sees Maria sleeping and places a blanket on her. Then she lies next to her and Maria unconsciously moves to drape herself over her, giving Sara the blanket back.
  • Counting Bullets: Maria has the tendency to NOT do this, despite Bill Buck warning her about it. It nearly gets her killed at the end, but Sara saves her in time.
  • Cultured Badass: Sara, thanks to her education in Europe.
  • Cutting the Knot: While trying to steal outfits from some French showgirls, Sara attempts to trick them by speaking in their native tongue. Maria simply points her gun at the women and demands their costumes, stating that her solution is much quicker.
  • Diagonal Billing: Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz, in the credits and posters.
  • Did Not Get The Guy: Neither of the Bandidas gets Quentin (which is for the best since their friendship is more important to the movie). Sara doesn't really mind, but Maria is devastated.
  • Direct-to-DVD: Met this fate in the UK six years after it was made.
  • The Fashionista: Sara concerns herself with fashion too much, and at inappropriate moments.
  • Flipping the Table: Jackson does it when he learns that the Bandidas have Quentin.
  • Friendship Moment: Between Maria and Sara before going to a particularly critical bank robbery.
  • Freudian Trio: Maria (Id) and Sara (Super-ego) already have their Red Oni, Blue Oni dynamics so when Quentin complete the trio he serves as The Heart (Ego) for them. Which is and isn't a good thing, since he keeps them together as a team, but they fight for his affection in order to one-up each other.
  • Greed: This isn't Jackson's motivation at first, it only becomes it when he decides to take Mexico's gold to the USA; somewhere along the way he gets the idea of making the gold all his. As he puts it, he's "taking advantage of a situation when a situation is there to be taken advantage of".
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The fate of Mexico's wealth lies on the shoulders of "a gun-hopping farm girl, an ugly dog, a wet-behind-the-ears cop, and a spoiled brat. What a team."
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Maria is slobbish, passionate and determined and Sara is arrogant, poised and cultured.
  • Revenge Porn Blackmail: María Álvarez and Sara Sandoval blackmail Quentin Cooke, the American specialist criminal investigator hired by the land baron who's pursuing them, by taking racy photos of him after having made him drunk.
  • Rich Bitch: Maria sees Sara as this. She is, but she becomes less so as the story goes on.
  • Rule #1: Bill Buck's three rules for robbing a bank:
    1. No one gets killed.
    2. Don't take more than you can carry in one hand.
    3. Getting away is the first rule.
    4. Trust your partner with your life.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Variation; Sara and Maria brag about the scientific method, and from that Clarissa figures out that the masked guy with them HAS to be Quentin.
  • U.S. Marshal: Jackson.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Sara and Maria bicker a lot, even having themselves a Cat Fight, but they trust each other completely after training with Bill Buck.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: Maria and Sara get these after they start making a name for themselves.
  • You Can Leave Your Hat On: Played with by invoking it literally; when the girls try to blackmail Quentin they strip him naked except for his hat, and Maria and Sara disagree on where he should wear the hat.
  • You Killed My Father:
    • Jackson killing Sara's father is what spurs her into becoming an outlaw in the first place.
    • Maria's father is also shot by Jackson, but he survives and her main motivation is to protect what belongs to Mexico.