Wednesday, May 16, 2018
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)
Buckaroo Banzai is a very strange film. It is a science-fiction comedy involving a team called the Hong Kong Cavaliers (who are a mixture of advanced technology engineers, special forces and rock stars of course) led by Buckaroo Banzai (Peter Weller).
Banzai is our hero and what an incredible hero he is too. He is a test pilot, rock star and brain surgeon. He is such an icon they even make comic books about him. How on Earth does he find the time?
Red Lectroids from the Eighth Dimension, rather unpleasant aliens led by John Lithgow, became marooned on our world in the 1930s. Now they plan to steal Banzai's technology to return to their own dimension. The only problem with that is, their enemies the Black Lectroids don't want them back and threaten Earth with nuclear war if Banzai doesn't stop them!
The result is an amazing meander from strange sci-fi situation to situation, drenched in 1980s weirdness and sarcasm. The film is chaotic, various plot threads appear out of nowhere and then don't develop. Sometimes you wonder if you are watching a film or a very long 1980s pop video. The film is chock full of weirdness and randomness. The likes of Jeff Goldblum dress as a cowboy for no apparent reason. You have aliens who sound like rastas. There is also plenty of lampooning of the US state. So what does it all mean? I couldn't really tell you. I've seen this film dozens of times, each time I discover something else I missed but it often still doesn't make much sense.
But that's why I love this film and have no hesitation in proclaiming this one of the best movies ever made. Now that is a controversial statement to make of course but this is my review and I can make it!