The popular conception of the arc that Woody Allen films have taken over the past 30 odd years is that it goes from silly to serious. It is certainly true that his early films (this film, What's Up, Tiger Lily? and Take The Money and Run, for instance) are faster, sillier, and imbued with a heavy dose of slapstick, whereas his tragicomedies such as the brilliant Crimes and Misdemeanors are more thoughtful and analytical. Because I, like a lot of people, started watching Allen's later works first, the vast majority of Bananas feels more like a Jim Abrahams/David Zucker collaboration than that of one of the most observantly humanistic directors in film history. There are tons of gags (some work, some don't) and I haven't seen such a commitment to physical comedy since Leslie Nielsen brought Lt. Frank Drebin to the big screen. That's not to say that there aren't some gems (the opening scene where ABC's Wide World of Sports provides coverage of an assassination attempt on the President of the fictitious town of San Marcos is brash, bold, and dazzling -- excellently showcasing the seeds of a budding auteur). Ultimately though, it appears as if Allen, in 1971, was perhaps too dependent on his onslaught of jokes and sight gags and he didn't yet trust himself as a filmmaker. This film is manic and hyperactive (it is called Bananas, after all) but worst of all, it's impatient and overly eager to squeeze in as much "comedy" as possible, instead of trusting its material and letting the setup deliver the punchline.