A fitting final installment in Terry Gilliam’s trilogy begun with Time Bandits and continued with Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen shares many of those films strengths and weaknesses, but doesn’t possess the visionary qualities of the latter.
The film offers a continual feast for the eyes, and not enough for the funnybone or the heart. Set in Europe in the 18th century, tale begins with a city under intense siege by the Turks. An elderly gent who purports to be the Baron begins relating the true story of how he caused the war.
With this, Gilliam takes the viewer into the exquisite palace of the sultan, whose ferocity is aroused when he loses a bet to the visiting baron (John Neville). With the help of his variously and superhumanly gifted gang of four, which consists of the fastest runner in the world, a dwarf who can exhale with hurricane force, an expert sharpshooter and an immeasurably strong black man, the Baron makes off with the sultan’s entire treasure, but his city is left to suffer the consequences.
Promising to save the city from the renewed attack, the Baron escapes in a gigantic hot-air balloon fashioned out of ladies’ underwear, and goes in search of his four comrades. This journey takes the unlikely pair to some unlikely places where they meet some unlikely people.
1989: Nominations: Best Art Direction, Costume Design, Makeup, Visual Effects