The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension | Chicago Reader

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension

A parody of pulp fiction ought to demonstrate at least as much imagination as the real thing, but this 1984 superhero spoof, directed by W.D. Richter and written by Earl Mac Rauch, contents itself with stringing together a selection of blunt adolescent power fantasies: the eponymous protagonist is a brain surgeon/rock star/test pilot who also operates as a troubleshooter for the U.S. government. Richter seems to have invented an elaborate mythology for his hero (played by Peter Weller in a glaze of new-wave cool), but he never bothers to explicate it; the film gives you the mildly annoying sensation of being left out of a not very good private joke. John Lithgow is hammily amusing as the wild-eyed, green-toothed heavy; Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, and Christopher Lloyd are in it too, though it's hard to say why. PG, 103 min.

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