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One of my al time favorites. Has a unique feel, great pace, and an amazing cast.
This movie is a mess. Literally.
Its easy to see what they were trying to do, but it was far too ambitious
Star-studded cult classic. Ellen Barkin at her cutest.
"Why is there a watermelon there?"
"I'll tell ya later."
Buckaroo Banzai is a scientist/test pilot/surgeon/rock star/government agent/superhero tasked with eliminating an Italian scientist possessed by a maniacal alien tyrant before an alien race wipes out the Earth just to kill that tyrant.
Well, this isn't an average movie by any stretch of the imagination.
And I wasn't really enjoying it... until I was.
See this movie HAS a plot and a story but it never stopped to explain exactly what it was until around the halfway point and this is a short movie as it is. So this has a two-fold impact.
One, after the appropriate explanation of what was going on, I got into the movie.
Two, before the appropriate explanations.... I was confused to the point of disliking the movie. So basically this movie will only make sense the 2nd time you watch it... and what the hell kind of storytelling is that?! This is like if Star Wars started in the Cantina scene where we meet Han and Chewie.
I think one problem is not knowing at all what this movie was about beyond the poster.... and the title, I kind of assumed it was going to be a space epic of some kind, with Buckaroo as a Han Solo type roaming the galaxy... it isn't. It's a very earthbound movie. Kinda wish I didn't get my hopes up for that kind of sci-fi movie.
But in the end I liked it. This movie has a great sense of style with the costumes, the art direction and the effects. Very 80s but in the most charming way, not in a dated way that kinda hurts a lot of 80s movies SET in the 80s.
The script is actually very good, this movie has a wonderful sense of humor. I was surprised at how many of the jokes to me seemed like stuff you'd put in a movie today. There were plenty of moments that would be right at home in a Marvel movie.
Actually the movie this reminded me of the most with its sense of humor and science fiction universe was Men in Black and I can tell the makers of that movie are a fan of Buckaroo Banzai.
Also this movie does the "aliens living among us" thing way better than They Live.
The cast is fantastic, I can't believe the level of character actors they were able to rope into such a wacky movie. Guys like Jonathan Banks, Dan Hedaya, Vincent Schiavelli, Matt Clark, Clancy Brown, Christopher Lloyd, etc.
I think one thing I liked about the actors is they were in on the joke, as it were. They play it like a comedy with a sarcastic tone. Like if they took this seriously, this movie would be laughable.
Like John Lithgow... he knows what movie he's in, so he plays it as wacky as can be.... granted he kinda does that in a couple movies anyway but he fits in here.
And Peter Weller is very good in this, it's too bad he never really hit the heights of stardom like other 80s action guys like Mel Gibson for example because he's such a good actor. He's done some great work over the years, though. His character of this multi-talented genius who knows everything.... at a certain point it just hit me "Oh, it's Tony Stark."
This movie has the strangest ending, where over the end credits we just have all of our characters marching down the road together, like the Wild Bunch march to this awesome piece of music. It's a great farewell to the movie and at first I thought it was weird, then I thought it's exactly what a movie like Avengers: Endgame should have done for THEIR end credits.
This is a good movie, but I just wish it made sense right away as opposed to halfway through. So it'll be good on a rewatch.... but on the first watch I gotta take points away for taking away a certain amount of fun.
But it's not bad.
Even worse than Plan 9 from Outer Space. A shame, too, since the cast is full of great actors.
Neat movie, though I can't believe anyone thought this would make money.
This is one of my favorite movies. My father and I would watch it over and over. I agree it is seriously under rated. Some of the criticism from critics cite cinematic devices that were relatively unknown at the time that are now common fare. My biggest lament is that there was no sequel as was hinted at at the end of the movie. Love it!
incredible set design, costumes, props and the overall feeling of nostalgia
A mess, but what a lovely, culty, looney mess it is. A lot of running around that does not bring you anywhere, but with quotes like this one: "No matter where you go... there you are." So it is definitely worth seeing.
The best comedy movie ever made!