Time: 116 mins.
Genre: Action/Science Fiction/Comedy
SYNOPSIS:: Adventurer/surgeon/rock musician Buckaroo Banzai and his band of men, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, take on evil alien invaders from the 8th dimension bent on destroying Earth.
BOTTOM LINE: Hands down one of the strangest sci-fi adventure comedies you're ever going to come across. A cult favorite, BUCKAROO BANZAI defies all logic when it comes to straightforward storytelling, which makes it both cool and a bit frustrating to sit through. Despite its weirdness, if you're willing, its off-kilter, tongue-in cheek sensibility will take you on a ride you will always remember...sort of like an acid trip gone partially bad. Movies rarely get as weird as this and I appreciate them taking the risk to be wholly original, even though if doesn't always work in their favor.
The plot centers on an alien invasion caused by Buckaroo's "trip" into the 8th dimension. If his invention, the over-thruster which is needed for intra-dimensional travel falls into the wrong hands, life as we know it on Earth will be destroyed. Either by the good aliens (all named John), who are desperately trying to keep the bad ones from escaping the 8th dimension where they were imprisoned, or the evil ones led by the insane Dr. Lizardo, played with feverish gusto by John Lithgow, who don't care one bit for humanity.
It's Buckaroo's job to save the planet from total destruction, one way or the other. Of course, this is all in a day's work for the world's leading rock star/brain surgeon/adventurer. Weller is totally convincing as this offbeat, honorable, intelligent action hero. No matter how crazy the plot gets and believe me it does he plays it cool, never letting you see him sweat. Too bad such a great star turn is in such an uneven film.
The supporting cast is superb, with quirky turns by Lloyd, Barkin and Goldblum, all at the beginning of their illustrious careers. Their talent elevates what could be cookie-cutter characters and adds depth to the proceedings. Though highly unusual, the plot comes together in the end, towing the line between comedy and adventure quite well. The effects aren't exactly top of the line, but they hold up better than one expects considering this wasn't an A-List project. A film for those who enjoy the weird, wacky and a touch of the ridiculous in their sci-fi fare.