Scifi
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
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Dir: W.D. Richter
Star: Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd, Ellen Barkin
Cert / Year: PG / 1984
Format: DVD R1
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Buckaroo Banzai (Peter Weller) is a scientist, brain surgeon, rock star and all round adventurer. He's the kind of guy who saves the earth three times before breakfast and still manages to get the girl. Currently he is completing his parentís work on a vehchile that can travel through solid matter by entering the eighth dimension. However his testing opens the door for the alien followers of the evil John Worfin (John Lithgow) who have been imprisoned there. Now Worfin plans to aid them to complete their escape. However unless he is stopped within twenty-four hours the aliens that imprisioned Worfin's followers are going to destroy the earth. It looks like only Buckaroo Banzai and his Hong Kong Cavaliers can save us.

Many films and television series have been called cult, but maybe none deserve the title more than The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai across the 8th Dimension. Why? Well it isn't mainstream thatís for sure it's a classic mix of camp sci-fi, a cool superhero, and a bizarre story. Its confusing, funny, and action packed in equal measures and it's so strange that occasionally the film seems to believe its own hype. Above all it is cult.

The story and main character are very odd indeed. Buckaroo Banzai is the ultimate Renaissance man; his character is overblown to the point of being a comic book superhero (all be it without special powers). This leads to a strangely surreal story. The script is good and has a wicked line in humour, unfortuneately the whole thing sometimes feels just a bit silly. However it is worth persevering with for the great one liners and some fine performances from the talented cast.

Oh yes the cast are just perfect. Ok so Peter Weller is never going to push back the boundaries of fine acting but despite the bizarre black died hair he is ok as Buckaroo. He receives fine support from the always weird Jeff Goldblum, Clancy Brown and Lewis Smith as the ironically named Perfect Tommy (ironic for his propensity to fluff his lines). The undoubted stars of the show are the ever reliable Christopher Lloyd and the hilarious John Lithgow, they really do steal the film.

Buckaroo Banzai can be difficult to watch as sloppy editing makes the story really hard to follow in places. Is this part of the films strangeness? It is hard to tell. Personally I think the lack of polish detracts from the film. Some scenes do stand out, for example the end credits are great, as is the rocket car sequence, but there are others that don't work so well. Overall little sense of tension is generated as the main story is always secondary to the characters, and this doesn't count in the films favour.

Buckaroo Banzai is one of the most cult films you will ever come across, it really isn't your average sci-fi movie and while this is commendable to does limit its appeal. There is no doubt that the character and acting are top notch but the poorly realised story does tend to let them down (I would love to see a better-written sequel). There are definitely major devotees to this film and itís easy to see why, but to most the film will be nothing more than an entertaining curiosity. I recommend you give it a go, you may love it, but at least you will be amused by this seriously strange cult classic.

Quotes

Remember, no matter where you go, there you are!

Rating: 3 out of 5

DVD
Picture 2.35:1 Anamorphic Excellent restored image
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Great Soundtrack
Features Alternative Opening (can be viewed in the film)
Excellent Buckaroo Banzai Declassified Documentary
Audio Commentary with Director W.D. Richter and Writer Earl Mac Rauch full of pauses
Character \ Actor Profiles
Banzai Institude Archives tons of text and pictures
Photo Gallery
Jet Car schemematics
Pinky Carruther's Unknown popup on screen facts
Teaser Trailer
Deleted scenes
Verdict This must be the definitive Buckaroo Banzai disc. Even if those involved seem to take things a little to seriously this is a excellent disc. There is a good remastered version of the film and loads of extras.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Theme Back Top Home