Carrying on with our idea of watching DVDs that have a Spanish and an English sound track to improve our Spanish, we watched Bandidas (Penélope Cruz / Salma Hayek in the star roles) last night – in English to get an idea of the story, before we watch it in Spanish again in a few days time.

The summary on the DVD cover calls it a “…hilarious action-packed adventure”, which is a little over the top. It is a funny – even silly – story, pretty much detached from reality. A bit like Thelma & Louise, but set in Mexico at the time of the Wild West, and shot on location. The two girls – Maria and Sara, in this case – come from very different backgrounds, Maria the poor farmer’s daughter who owns a remarkable horse that can play tic-tac-toe and understand spoken instructions, Sara rich and educated in upper-class European society, band together to revenge the killing of their respective fathers by the same man, the evil Tyler Jackson who owns many of the local banks. One of the scenes I particularly enjoyed was the sight of Maria riding her horse up a series of ladders to take up position on the roof of one of Jackson’s banks before they break in.

Not as good as Cruz’s previous film Volver, but it moves along fast enough that it is enjoyable and its saving grace is the cast – Cruz, Hayek and Steve Zahn and Dweight Yoakam, rather than the directing or the dialog. All in all: good fun, plenty of laughs, and we shouldn’t find the dialog too demanding in Spanish when we watch it again.