There are some movies that get avoided simply because they seem too cheesy. Despite recommendations from Kevin Smith and our own Michael Sanchez, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension was one that seemed too silly to enjoy. Simply reading the IMDb plot summary could be enough to keep most skeptical people away as it reads “Adventurer, brain surgeon, rock musician…” Yet, as if my brain was taken by Red Lectroids, I found myself extremely engaged and enjoying the film.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai is a crazy movie that embodies the ’80s
Buckaroo Banzai (Peter Weller) and the Hong Kong Cavaliers, who are his team of crime-fighters, uncover a plot by a group of aliens from the 8th dimension called the Red Lectroids with the help of Black Lectroids from planet 10. In the meantime, there is a concert where he meets Penny Priddy (Ellen Barkin), helps save a mans life with New Jersey (Jeff Goldblum), and has a press conference discussing his crossing through the 8th dimension.
Peter Weller is at home in this role. It’s a shame the sequel was never made as he really embodied Buckaroo Banzai. John Lithgow as Lord John Whorfin and Christopher Lloyd as John Bigboote are both great. They’re big and crazy, but it works with the villainous role they are portraying. Jeff Goldblum also shines as his often campy style works perfectly amongst the silliness that is this movie.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai is so silly that they even wrote in a rock concert. In the middle of the song and cheering audience, Buckaroo stops the band to ask “Is anybody out there not having a good time?” An odd thing to ask, but it turns out that there is a pretty girl in the audience crying. He enters a dialogue with her and gets the chance to give an anti-bullying speech of sorts. It’s an easily memorable scene because Penny attempts to shoot herself moments later, but misses.
Needless to say, the film is crazy. Yet, it captures so much fun and silliness that it still works even 33 years after its release. It’s not a masterpiece, but it is definitely entertaining. It’s easy to see why this film still has a cult following. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension earns the Decent Watch rating and is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime.