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Four tough women in a German penitentiary join forces to form a rock band. When administrators take them to perform at a policeman's ball, the prisoners escape, kidnapping a convenient boy-toy hostage (Werner Schreyer), along the way. Their band, Bandits, becomes a national sensation as the women continue to evade the police. The movie is a wild ride, with quite a respectable score of rock songs--some catchy, some haunting--composed and performed by Bandits members themselves. All are sung in English (which seems to be the universal language of rock & roll). But although the picture is a lot of fun, it's no Spice World; there's a harder edge, a deeper agenda here. These women were all prisoners for a reason. Each fugitive's story is gradually revealed as the plot progresses. Luna (sultry Jasmin Tabatabai), the lead singer and guitarist, is a loose canon with a real attitude problem. And she likes to rob banks. Emma (Katja Riemann), the brains of the group, had a successful jazz career in America before her abusive boyfriend drove her over the edge. Marie (Jutta Hoffmann), the band's middle-aged keyboard player, is suicidal: something to do with her involvement in her husband's death. Angel (lovely Nicolette Krebitz), is the team's weak link; she can't be trusted. As the Bandits pull off each increasingly improbable narrow escape, the film takes on the radiance of myth, ascending ultimately to an apocalyptic finale. --Laura Mirsky
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