4 Reasons You Have To Watch “Bandidos” Right Now

Bandidos S1. (L to R) Andrea Chaparro as Citlali, Mabel Cadena as Inés, Juan Pablo Fuentes as Lucas, Alfonso Dosal as Miguel, Ester Expósito as Lilí, Nico Furtado as Octavio, Juan Pablo Medina as Wilson in Bandidos S1. Cr. Julieta Horak / Netflix ©2024

Want to go on a legendary treasure hunt? Then don’t hesitate to embark on Netflix’s thrilling adventure series, Bandidos. With a cast full of Mexican and Spanish stars and a hilarious plot, Bandidos earned a spot on the streaming giant’s “Top 10 TV Shows” list and you don’t want to miss it.

Starring the charismatic Alfonso Dosal as Miguel and the seductive Ester Expósito as Lilí, Bandidos follows the lives and misadventures of a band of outlaws as they attempt to recover a legendary Mayan treasure lost in the Gulf of Mexico during the Revolutionary War. Shot entirely in Spanish, the fun fiction consists of seven episodes and lasts a little over five hours.

Under the direction of Adrian Grünberg (Get the Gringo) and Javier Ruiz Caldera (Spy Time), this action-adventure project marks one of Netflix’s biggest Mexican bets, after Narcos: Mexico, which concluded in 2021.

With great challenges and a good dose of humor, Bandidos has its own recipe to keep the audience on edge. Here are four reasons why you should stop what you’re doing and watch this series that explores the beauty and wonders of the Mexican Caribbean right now:

1. The Archeological Adventure

Alfonso Dosal as Miguel in Bandidos. Cr. Julieta Horak / Netflix ©2024

Like The Goonies, Uncharted, and other adventure stories, Bandidos features a tantalizing treasure, a map, and a series of clues that lead the protagonists through murky terrain and intricate puzzles.

The series begins in happy times, just as Miguel Morales, the son of an accomplished archaeologist, unexpectedly discovers a map that promises to reveal the whereabouts of the “treasure of the Snake King,” a priceless Mayan relic, long lost in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico. But, as always, things are more complicated than they appear.

On the trail of the gold, Miguel, Lilí and the Bandidos group – which includes Wilson (Juan Pablo Medina), a cunning forger; Lucas (Juan Pablo Fuentes), a hacker prodigy; Citlali (Andrea Chaparro), a reckless diver; Octavio (Nicolás Furtado), a tactical mercenary; and Inés (Mabel Cadena), a hard-nosed policewoman – are involved in hysterical and irreverent situations, ranging from entering ancient ruins to fleeing from law enforcement agents to confronting ruthless rival groups.

While the story isn’t entirely groundbreaking, Bandidos is a classic adventure with all the tropes you’d expect. An ancient treasure coveted by many? Yes. A risky and uncertain adventure? Yes. A powerful antagonist? Yes. Bold chases and hand-to-hand combat? Yes. A slow-burning romance? Definitely yes! On top of all that, there’s no shortage of betrayals, great scenery, and good humor.

2. The Chemistry of the Cast

One thing the Bandidos series does incredibly well is capture the actors’ chemistry and comedic expertise. From the moment they appear on screen, each and every one of the performers fits their roles and comes across as spontaneous and endearing.

Alfonso Dosal, Ester Expósito, Juan Pablo Medina, Juan Pablo Fuentes, Andrea Chaparro, and Mabel Cadena blend and contrast with extraordinary naturalness. This cast of Mexican and Spanish stars is at the top of its game and certainly does justice to the likable and eclectic team of anti-heroes. While there are invigorating individual performances, the ensemble performance steals the show.

Whether unraveling mysteries, coaxing information out of people, coordinating intricate scams, or desecrating graves, there is a clear and rich coupling on screen. As a viewer, one notices the connection and spark right away, and even comes to feel close to this band of misfits. From the cocky antagonist to the heartless con artist to the fierce police officer, the actors fit together like pieces of a puzzle. It is thanks to the cast’s acting chops and the pulsating chemistry that the Mexican series is so hilarious, seductive, and charismatic.

3. The Pure Fun

Bandidos S1. (L to R) Ester Expósito as Lilí, Alfonso Dosal as Miguel in Bandidos S1. Cr. Julieta Horak / Netflix ©2024

Not all hidden treasure stories have to be serious. Bandidos is one of those lighthearted adventures where when the stakes get incredibly tight or dangerous, there’s always some funny dialogue or action to lighten the mood.

Without a doubt, Bandidos works because of its sense of humor and ability to laugh at itself. Whatever happens, joys or sorrows, alliances or enmities, romances or sacrifices, Bandidos remains humorous and easygoing, making it the ideal choice for people who want to enjoy something light after an exhausting day.

Pablo Tébar’s playful writing engages in all sorts of humor, from slapstick to sarcasm to physical comedy. In each episode, Miguel and his gang of Bandidos get into hilarious and goofy situations, so the funny one-liners, quirks, and irreverence are not long in coming. The show manages to balance the hilarious moments with the more emotional and sincere ones.

By making people laugh, directors Adrian Grünberg and Javier Ruiz Caldera ensure a tremendously entertaining fiction. Without slacking off, nor straining the narrative journey of the protagonists too much, the series manages to be exciting, warm, goofy, and funny. “Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all,” said Mark Twain and truth be told, he’s not wrong. This applies to life as much as it does to good television.

4. The Natural Wonders

Bandidos S1. Andrea Chaparro as Citlali in Bandidos S1. Cr. Julieta Horak / Netflix ©2024

Another captivating aspect of the series is its ability to explore natural wonders. Since the plot is dedicated to treasure hunting, the filming delves into stunning tropical and historical settings that become characters in their own right.

Bandidos is deeply rooted in the beautiful Mexican Caribbean. Although the filming process took place in several countries, the series has as its main settings Yucatán and Hidalgo, vibrant places that tend to bewitch with their charms. Along the way, Miguel, Lilí, Wilson, Lucas, Citlali, Octavio, and Ines take us on a journey through Mérida, Veracruz, Morelos, Playa del Carmen, and Mexico City, among other places.

Visually, Bandidos exudes serenity and makes good use of nature as a narrative resource. Cinematographer Antonio Riestra achieves a warm, sunny texture and captures immersive images, including lush landscapes and rolling hills, cenotes, archeological sites, and ancient ruins. Throughout, the camera reveals breathtaking views as a backdrop to the search for the Snake King’s coveted treasure.

So, Should You Watch It?

Bandidos S1. Mabel Cadena as Inés in Bandidos S1. Cr. Julieta Horak / Netflix ©2024

Although the Mexican series reanimates some clichés of the genre, Bandidos is a show you should watch. If you are a lover of classic adventure stories or have ever wanted to visit Mexico (with or without leaving home), this fiction is for you. A second season is underway so catch up now before it comes out.

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