Good beginning and End but the revolutioonary plot in the middle could have been executed with more creativity, enjoyable in parts but again the main narrative could have been executed better to take the political spoof part stand out, comes out more as a collection of random bits mixed with banana republic idea. okay-ish
But we can't watch the film attempting to draw comparisons to his overall career - it's not "Hannah and Her Sisters" or "Everyone Says I Love You," nor is it trying to be. Coming at the "early, funny" part of his filmography, it is better contrasted with "Sleeper" and "What's New, Pussycat?," when he was still working out his kinks but nevertheless the maker behind several ingeniously funny comedies. "Bananas" finds him slightly scattered but still nifty, it containing a sizable amount of capably performed physical comedy routines and enough one-liners to kill a man.
In it, he plays Fielding Marsh, an indelibly nervous blue collar worker who inadvertently lands himself in the position of a revolutionary after trying to win the heart of Nancy (Louise Lasser), a social activist. A product tester very much in the midst of mundane routine, he's not the type to get so involved - but, wanting to show his potential lady love that he's a man of strength, he heads over to San Marcos, where civil unrest is brewing. Almost offed by the region's government, he is saved by revolutionaries, and is, in return, trained to work alongside them with offhanded bravery. He gets in over his head, however, when he is persuaded to pose as the face of the revolution, which throws him into deep trouble after the U.S. catches a whiff of his escapades.
In terms of summary, "Bananas" sounds like a cohesive, if totally bizarre, comedy, but it is not so much a conclusive work as it is a marathon of cutting, brief satires, taking aim at everything from the media's ravenous thirst to make a story out of anything to the clichés that befall the romantic comedy genre. It's perhaps even reminiscent of "Airplane!," just without such an overwhelming abundance of visual gags.
But because of its flip-flop nature, "Bananas" never really has a specific tone, as it sometimes feels like a screwball comedy homage and sometimes feels like a rom-com spoof. When the film fails to put two and two together, though, Allen's comedy remains buoyant and pointy, laughs moving everything along more than a plot ever could. And this subversion somehow remains adequate - Allen has the pen to back up his cuckoo, and he and his performers (especially the exquisitely droll Lasser) are proficient in selling the nonsensicalities. "Bananas" isn't one of Allen's finest, but subpar Allen is still pretty darn good.
"I once stole a pornographic book that was printed in braille. I used to rub the dirty parts."