Review of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)

Moving picture, 103 minutes

Seen in 2017.

See it for the sausage fest of adorably dubious actors: Jeff Goldblum looking as out of place as the aliens, Peter Weller (RoboCop) playing it cool, John Lithgow butchering an Italian accent (and saying “History is made at night. Character is what you are in the dark.”) and as the latter’s superpowered evil alien henchmen: Christopher Lloyd, Vincent Schiavelli (immediately recognizable in heavy monster makeup) and Dan Hedaya. Surprisingly competent organic vehicle design and a few funny lines, with occasional mild cyberpunk flavour including a hacking scene, but it’s a mess all the same. Most of the special effects could have come out of 1950s B movies, and this chintziness does not allow the jazzy style to bloom. The failed promise of a sequel reminds me of Doctor Detroit (1983).

References here: Back to the Future (1985), They Live (1988), Men in Black (1997), Rick and Morty (2013).

moving picture fiction