The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (1984) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (1984)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

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
Rating: PG
Genre: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Earl Mac Rauch
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 4, 2002


Peter Weller
as Buckaroo Banzai
John Lithgow
as Dr. Emilio Lizardo, ...
Ellen Barkin
as Penny Priddy
Jeff Goldblum
as New Jersey
Christopher Lloyd
as John Bigboote
Robert Ito
as Hikita
Pepe Serna
as Reno Nevada
Ronald Lacey
as President Widmark
Matt Clark
as Secretary of Defense
Clancy Brown
as Rawhide
William Traylor
as Gen. Catburd
Carl Lumbly
as John Parker
Vincent Schiavelli
as John O'Connor
Dan Hedaya
as John Gomez
Mariclare Costello
as Sen. Cunningham
Bill Henderson
as Casper Lindley
Damon Hines
as Scooter Lindley
Billy Vera
as Pinky Carruthers
Laura Harrington
as Mrs. Johnson
Michael Santoro
as Billy Travers
Kent Perkins
as Mission Control
Jonathan Banks
as Lizardo Hospital Gua...
Robert Gray
as First Radar Blaze
Gary Bisig
as Second Radar Blaze
Ken Magee
as Duck Hunter Burt
James Keane
as Duck Hunter Bubba
John Ashton
as Highway Patrolman
Yakov Smirnoff
as National Security Ad...
Leonard Gaines
as Artie Duncan
James Saito
as Dr. Masado Banzai
Jamie Lee Curtis
as Dr. Sandra Banzai
Francine Lembi
as TV Anchorwoman
John Walter Davis
as Star Surgeon
James Rosin
as John Yaya
Radford Polinsky
as Marine Lieutenant
Sam Minsky
as Kolodny Brother
Robert Hummer
as Kolodny Brother
Greg Mires
as Young Buckaroo
Matthew Mires
as Young Buckaroo
Raye Birk
as Reporter
Reed Morgan
as Exhibitor
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai

Critic Reviews for The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (5)

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.

Full Review… | August 20, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Richter's comic genre hybrid comes complete with its own mythology, and team of established superheroes, and is curiously appealing.

Full Review… | August 16, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

It violates every rule of storytelling and narrative structure in creating a self-contained world of its own.

Full Review… | June 5, 2007
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

A one-film franchise that never was, too daft and marvelous to expand any further.

Full Review… | August 11, 2014

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.

Full Review… | July 31, 2014

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.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer


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.

Greg S

Super Reviewer

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.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Quotes

– Submitted by Richard S (3 years ago)

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