STARRING: Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd, Carl Lumbly

1984, 103 Minutes, Directed by: W.D. Richter

buckaroo_2.jpg (15628 bytes)Description: Peter Weller stars as Buckaroo, an acclaimed neurosurgeon, particle physicist, and, of course, rock star. He travels with the Hong Kong Cavaliers, a band of hard-rocking scientists who are also really good dressers. Buckaroo's interdimensional experiments with his Operation Overthruster throw him (and the Earth) straight into the middle of an alien war, and before you know it, he's got just a few hours to save the world.

Not as much fun as its title might suggest, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension (hereafter just referred to as just Buckaroo Banzai, OK?) aims for wackiness and weirdness and probably attains it, but to be honest, it is a rather soulless piece of entertainment.

To make things worse, the plot is largely incoherent and difficult to follow. Audiences are abruptly thrown into the action and it feels like trying to follow a television series of which you have missed several episodes, or walking into a movie at about the halfway mark.

Confusing, and while this may be some attempt by the filmmakers to capture that feeling one gets from picking up issue # 42 of a comic book series you have never read before, the net effect is just bewildering. As the movie drags on, one finds it very difficult to care about on-screen events.

To make things worse, more and more characters are introduced late in the movie (Buckaroo Banzai already features a large cast to begin with) and no time is spent on identifying the various characters, never mind getting to know and like them! (All of them dressed in horrendously loud 'Eighties fashions.)

While the film features some nice comic moments (as in chuckle-chuckle, not ha-ha), it drunkenly veers between the deadpan acting of Peter Weller who is even more mechanical than he was in Robocop and the over-the-top John Lithgow (Third Rock from the Sun, 2010) never finding the right tone to settle on.

Ultimately, Buckaroo Banzai is a lackluster affair that could have been a whole lot better than it is. Apparently it has somewhat of a fervent cult following, but I suspect that its followers are more in love with its title than its actual content.


# 93
of the
Top 100 Sci-Fi Movies
of all time


Watch Trailer / Clip:





blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines

Most Popular

Copyright © 1997-forward James O'Ehley/The Sci-Fi Movie Page (unless where indicated otherwise).