The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension Movie Review
He's Buckaroo Banzai, inhabited by the inimitable Peter Weller in a role that has granted him cult status among the geeks of the world. In this film (originally intended to be the first of a series but petering out after the debut), Banzai's trip into the 8th dimension sets off an intergalactic war of sorts, as a former interdimensional traveler (who came out wholly insane in the form of Lord John Whorfin (John Lithgow)) is trying to get Banzai's Oscillation Overthruster for himself, in order to bring a plague of evil aliens to destroy the earth. And of course there are good aliens that just won't have any of that -- and they're set to blow up the earth themselves if Whorfin succeeds.
If any of this makes sense (and it shouldn't), you'll find Buckaroo Banzai a delicious and funny piece of sci-fi with the same appeal that the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series has long held. From its goofy hero to crazy dialogue (Computer voice: "Attention: There are monkey boys in the facility.") to its Land of the Lost-grade special effects to a synthesizer-heavy score (which matches well with the Miami Vice costumes), Buckaroo Banzai screams cult classic through and through. Weller and Lithgow are perfectly cast as arch-enemies, but it's Banzai's hilarious band members/adventuring henchmen (known as The Hong Kong Cavaliers) that push the film over the top.
At long last, Banzai comes to special edition DVD, a new cut that attempts to address the concerns of many critics back upon its original release, namely that the story was just incomprehensible. That was certainly a fair complaint, and the reinstated footage (including a new opening flashback sequence, with Jamie Lee Curtis as young Buckaroo's mom) helps considerably. Loyal fans will find tons of fabulous extras -- the trailer for an aborted Buckaroo Banzai TV series, commentary track and "fun facts" subtitles, and even album covers for The Hong Kong Cavaliers. It's exhaustive and obsessive -- perfect for the fanatic.
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