Study Guide

Time Bandits Randall (David Rappaport)

Randall (David Rappaport)

The dwarves in this movie are given an artifact that has unlimited power, and yet they use it for such petty and small things that it's kind of hilarious. Seriously, you've got something that will literally take you anywhere in time and space—you're able to see great events unfold and famous historical figures making decisions upon which the human race itself turns—and all you're interested in doing is ripping people off?

Different strokes.

The situation is doubly humorous if you remember that the dwarves used to work for God. They created trees and shrubs—actually created them—and all they care about now is a big chunk of change.

Randall is the embodiment of the dwarves' foolish, materialistic philosophy. He's also the embodiment of all the trouble this philosophy gets the gang into. Randall is greedy, arrogant, and not half as smart as he thinks he is. He's the guy with a plan for everything, but not the slightest clue.

Kevin, naturally, picks up on Randall's flaws immediately and confronts him about them all on more than one occasion—most notably on the deck of the Titanic:

KEVIN: The map? I don't understand you, Randall. You've got something really brilliant like that, and you're just wasting it.

RANDALL: I wouldn't call this exactly "wasting" it.

KEVIN: Why couldn't you leave me where I was happy?

RANDALL: Because when you hear what I've got planned, you're gonna be a lot happier.

Of course, Kevin isn't happier. Randall—a guy working for God, who has actually seen behind the curtain—can only think of bigger stuff, better stuff, and more stuff as the ultimate meaning of life.

Sigh.

Randall is also very keen on maintaining his leadership position. Wally gives him a lot of blowback, and the other dwarves challenge him from time to time as well. Randall gambles on their greed and general lack of organization to fend them off. As long as they do what he says, he's more or less happy.

On the plus side, Randall is loyal enough to his friends, and when push comes to shove, he's willing to stand up to Evil in order to save the universe. Of course, he needs a little prodding from Kevin first, but eventually he does step up and do the right thing. He deserves a little credit for that...though as leaders go, we wouldn't trust him with a burnt-out match.

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