The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (1984)
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Despite mixed reviews and a disastrous initial release that dumped the film into theaters for a week in the midst of the 1984 Summer Olympics, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eight Dimension went on to become one of the major cult films of the 1980s, developing a rabid following after its release on videotape. Drifting between satire and improbable sci-fi adventure, the film stars Peter Weller as Buckaroo Banzai, the son of an American mother and Japanese father who is a combination physicist, neurosurgeon, martial arts master, secret agent, and rock star who travels with his band of assistants/backing musicians, The Hong Kong Cavaliers. As the story opens, Buckaroo is driving his car through a mountain to test his new invention, the Oscillation Overthruster. However, a race of boorish aliens called the Red Lectroids have been waiting for such an item to become a reality, as they need it to return to the distant planet they call home. One of Buckaroo's arch-enemies, Dr. Emilio Lizardo (John Lithgow), who has been possessed by the Red Lectroids, attempted to created a similar device decades before; now escaped from an insane asylum, he is back at work with the Lectroids on a plan to control the world. Throw in Rastafarian aliens, unscheduled travel between dimensions, and the odd inexplicable watermelon, and you get a film that defies conventional synopsis. With its fast pace, quotable dialogue ("No matter where you go, there you are"), and barrage of gags (subtle and otherwise), you won't be bored even when you're not sure what's going on. The supporting cast includes Jeff Goldblum as New Jersey, a Cavalier with a snappy cowboy outfit, and Ellen Barkin as Penny Priddy, the twin sister of Buckaroo's late wife. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
A one-film franchise that never was, too daft and marvelous to expand any further.
There are fun fripperies to be found on the fringe of "Buckaroo's" free-for-all. But like the bells and whistles of a garish pinball game, they are but momentarily enjoyable distractions on a machine that was destined to tilt from the get-go.
Off-the-wall and incoherent but colorful and eccentric, this satire, benefiting from a great cast, became a cult item.
It's a whole lot of thought put into a movie in which not very much happens.
A state-of-the-art spaceship flying at the speed of light without narrative coordinates, Buckaroo Banzai is the very oddest good movie in many a full moon.
Buckaroo Banzai is like decades of escapist pulp filtered through the skeptic's shrug of the mid-'80s.
Richter's comic genre hybrid comes complete with its own mythology, and team of established superheroes, and is curiously appealing.
Punch lines appear without set-ups and set-ups without punch lines. Characters come and go with such bewildering speed that it is virtually impossible to keep track of the story, which jumps around enough to induce motion sickness.
It violates every rule of storytelling and narrative structure in creating a self-contained world of its own.
There's so much going on here and so much fun to be had, I've never really been sure what the plot was.
Buckaroo Banzai may well turn out to be a pilot film for other theatrical features, though this one would be hard to top for pure, nutty fun.
One of the crappiest films of all time. Yet somehow, inexplicably, it's also one of the coolest films of all time . . . like reading a really bad Japanese comic book on acid
Still can't believe this silly loser gained a cult reputation
The characters each look like they are from a first generation music video, speak like they are in a work of serious science-fiction, and sound like a stepchild to Huey Lewis and the News ...
The pinnacle of gonzo camp cult classics.
Audience Reviews for The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
The cult movie that no one initially saw. Of course, this insane mix of Science-fiction, comedy and pretty much everything else did not age well. Even back then there was no budget. The handmade creature and make-up-effects do have a certain charm and are definitely unique. The plot, if you even wanna call it that, may not make all that much sense but it's fun. The movie is already worth checking out to see which star you can spot in it in their early years. The end credits and song are so endearing and fun you instantly want to rewatch it. Everyone was hopeful to start a franchise, which never happened, but we'll always have this insane piece of work.More
Insane Dr. Lizado and his alien allies try to steal the secret of eighth dimensional travel from neurosurgeon/secret agent Buckaroo Banzai and his band of rock and roll scientists. It's pleasantly campy and crazy and features some great throwaway lines; the one problem is that star Peter Weller is far too reserved to play the larger-than-life Buckaroo. Jeff Goldblum is underutilized as a New Jersey cowboy sidekick; if the casting department had switched Weller and Glodblum's roles they could have made a masterpiece.More
This is a wacky sci-fi adventure comedy movie that's so strange you're not sure what genre it really belongs to or why they made the movie in the first place. It stars a lot of good actors, and they do an alright job, but the story is confusing and like I said, very odd. Overall, it's okay.More
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