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.