The soundtrack album for the crime comedy Bandits, which stars Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, and Cate Blanchett, and was directed by Barry Levinson, is one of those seemingly random collections of tracks that may work in the film, but make no particular sense comprising a various artists album. Bob Dylan's "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum," taken from his 2001 Love and Theft album, for example, serves as a comment on the bank-robbing abilities of the two main male characters, while Jimmy Page and Robert Plant's "Gallows Pole" accompanies a prison break and Bonnie Tyler's '80s hits "Holding Out for a Hero" (recycled from the Footloose soundtrack) and "Total Eclipse of the Heart" give some insight into the motivations of the main female character. But tracks like Pete Yorn's "Just Another" and Five for Fighting's "Superman (It's Not Easy)" (already on its way up the charts when this album was released) seem to be here mainly for the purpose of promoting acts on the Sony Music roster, and there's no telling what function a 1964 recording of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "Walk on By," in which a young Aretha Franklin makes like Dionne Warwick, or Michael Martin Murphey's evergreen horse tribute "Wildfire" have to do with anything, since they aren't actually heard in the film at all. Christopher Young's seven-minute suite of his score for the film is appropriately varied in such disparate company, moving from a slow, ominous, and bluesy segment into an aggressive dance segment. Maybe this album represents the favorite songs of somebody connected with the film, and there are certainly some good songs here, but as a stand-alone album, the collection doesn't make much sense. Not that that's kept other albums of this sort from succeeding.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann