The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai

 (1,271)6.41 h 42 min1984PG
Buckaroo Banzai is a rock-star/brain-surgeon/comic-book-hero/samurai who along with his group, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, must stop evil creatures from the 8th dimension (all named John) who are trying to conquer our dimension. He is helped by Penny Pretty, who is a dead ringer for his ex-wife, and some good extra-dimensional beings who look and talk like Jamaicans.
W.D. Richter
Peter WellerEllen Barkin
Science FictionAction
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Neil CantonGary Luccesi
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
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4.5 out of 5 stars

1271 global ratings

  1. 76% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 10% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 6% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 4% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Henrik HarbinReviewed in the United States on March 21, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
WARNING: Ths movie is a serious parody
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This movie is a loving tribute and serious parody of classic SF adventue serials, radio shows, and pulp stories of the 1930s. The characters are outlandish without being Garrish , funny without being stupid, and Heroy without being cartoony . The movie is a modern answer to Flash Gordon , Buck Rogers, Doc Savage and the like . This very smart , fast-paced, colorful , well written , well acted, and well directed. The production value is really high for 1984. If it had been made now, with heavy darkness and hipster irony, I'm not sure it would've worked, but thankfully it came out at the right time for the right audience .
58 people found this helpful
Kindle CustomerReviewed in the United States on March 9, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
A Modern Day Doc Savage
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Many reviews have compared Buckaroo Banzai to Doc Savage, or mentioned a connection, but few have spelled them out. Both are neurosurgeons, scientific geniuses and adventurers. Both travel the world with a band of men, but Buckaroo's men are a musical band. The men in both groups go by colorful nicknames. Both films performed poorly at the box office, and promoted an ambiguous sequel that was never made. However, Buckaroo gets involved with women and uses guns, where Doc does not, nor would Doc promote himself with Rock and Roll and comic books. There are also comparisons to Sherlock Holmes, such as Mrs. Johnson (Mrs. Hudson) and the Blue Blazer Regulars (Baker Street Irregulars). These are loving tributes or Easter Eggs, not rip-offs or satires. There is no other movie quite like Buckaroo Banzai, nor will there ever likely be another.
36 people found this helpful
Stephanie SullivanReviewed in the United States on March 26, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Over The Top Rip Roaring Good Fun, Lithgow's Performance Stands Out
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Buckaroo Banzai is one of those films I go back and watch again every few years. The eclectic plot line, characters and (by today's standards) hilarious special effects are a lot of fun. But what really makes this movie worth going back to is the cast. Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum and many others that were in this film saw their careers flourish in the following years.

The movie is filled with over-the-top humor and crazy plot twists. Lithgow's Dr. Lizardo is stunning but don't discount Weller's or Goldblum's performances either. I still laugh at how all the aliens are named John... Of course, in the end Buckarro saves the world (we are all still here, right?).

I'm kind of sorry there wasn't a sequel. The film seemed to keep that possibility open. Decades too late now.

You gotta know if I keep coming back to this film I'm going to give it 5 stars. I see it very differently now then I did back when it first came out, but I enjoy it every bit as much if not more.
48 people found this helpful
James C SmithReviewed in the United States on January 26, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Junky Script Sinks Film
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I saw this back in the day in a first-run theater. The trailer looked fun, and the title was alluring.

Even then, when '80s cheese was at its peak, I recall this movie being quite the letdown. The story was scattered, tissue-thin, and junky. So despite the long list of notable actors at the height of their film careers, the lack of a good script sunk this project.

The lousy special effects and crummy alien masks didn't help it, either. (And yes, the effects were lousy even for 1984, considering "Alien" was from '79, "Terminator" was from '83, and "Aliens" was from '86, just to name a few excellent contemporaries.)

So watching it tonight, 36 years later, I hoped to be entertained by seeing it through different eyes. That did not happen. It is every bit as disappointing now as it was then.

The one real highlight was John Lithgow playing the mad scientist. He's always good, and I find it interesting to see him in roles outside of "3rd Rock From The Sun", for which he is so well known.

Finally, to put solidity to my comments, this movie was designed to have sequels. That fact was made very clear by the film itself and how it was marketed. And so if it were as good as other reviewers state, and so perfect for its time, then why did it have none? Not even one. And this was back in an era where movie sequels were the norm.

However, you may like it, and after all it is a slice of movie history from that time, whether it is good, bad, or somewhere in between.

11 people found this helpful
ContrariusReviewed in the United States on July 26, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
This film is so loaded with smart humor -- I've watched it a dozen times and ...
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This film is so loaded with smart humor -- I've watched it a dozen times and still find new layers of sly touches. The Red Lectroids are disguised as greedy white men in bad suits who eat lots of junk food. Pure prophesy. But here is a detail I did not get until yesterday's viewing. You all will know that the plot is predicated on Orson Welles's War of the Worlds hoax. Now watch the scenes with the President.

He is a ringer for Orson Welles in Citizen Kane. Down to the baritone.
21 people found this helpful
Raoul DelmareReviewed in the United States on November 9, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
One Of The Most Fun Films Ever Made!!
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This is simply one of the greatest and totally fun "comic-book" movies ever made. The fact that this movie is based on a comic book which never actually existed in our universe tells you something. ( "It's NOT my planet!!!" ) Look at the names of the actors in this film! YES, this movie is incredibly fun and funny! YES, this film is thoughtfully full of stuff that you won't catch until you've seen it the third time! YES, there is fun here for everyone! YES, you will be quoting lines from this film after you have seen it! And so, whether or not you have multiple PhD degrees . . . see this movie! Oh! And YES, you can still buy souvenirs from the Banzai Institute as well as from Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems!!
21 people found this helpful
A. RoseReviewed in the United States on January 28, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
A great romp
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This is a science fiction movie from 1984 that was made in the campy style of the adventure serials that used to be run on Saturday afternoons in movie theaters across the US. Buckaroo Banzai is an eccentric genius who, after alternating between his daytime jobs as neurosurgeon and physicist, moonlights as a test pilot and a musician, not necessarily in that order. He has gathered around him a group of exceptional individuals who are experts in their own fields, but no less eclectic than he is, called the Hong Kong Cavaliers. Trouble comes when, after a successful test of what he and his mentor, Dr. Hikita, call an "oscillation overthruster," they discover they can travel through the 8th dimension, which is explained as the space between the molecules that make up solid matter. However, it is not long before they learn that they have inadvertently opened the way for a group of aliens, long ago exiled to Earth due to their crazed leader's obsessive desire for absolute power, to make their way back home and endanger their home world. The aliens kidnap Dr. Hikita, and it is up to Buckaroo and his group to stop them before they destroy not only their own planet, but ours as well.
Peter Weller stars as Buckaroo Bonzai, playing it as straight as can be accomplished for a movie that was done as a mixture of adventure, sci-fi, and comedy. John Lithgow is absolutely hilarious as the demented leader of the aliens, and there is a guest starring role by Jeff Goldblum, who would use this film as a stepping stone to his own blockbuster hit parts (the remake of the The Fly and, of course, Independence Day). Though it was originally meant as the first in a series, this did not come to fruition. However, that did not stop the film from becoming a cult classic, and there have been comic books and video games with its moniker. This is a good film for kids as there are no sexual scenes, no gory violence, and the aliens, though a threat to Earth, are depicted in a fun and comic manner. It also depicts the people in charge of the federal government as total incompetants, but I suspect there are those who would say that this premise was not so far from the truth. All in all, this is a movie for the entire family and a great romp.
7 people found this helpful
SuperShopper-Reviewed in the United States on July 24, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great adventure indeed!
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What ever happened to good ol fun movies like this? Its very entertaining movie, not really a PG film for little kids, but this is very good adult get together movie. This story seriously goes along with a lot of conspiracy theories of many different subjects... i see why it didn't get over hyped when it first came out, guaranteed many big secret society groups had it shelved. thanks amazon! Even though Bezos works for the CIA, Many of my own theories were talked about in this movie. Just watched it first time today. came out the year after my birth. This movie is just entertaining all the way around!
10 people found this helpful
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