When I saw “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension” in 1984, there were about three other people in the theater. One of them was my friend who turned to me at the halfway point and demanded, “What is going on in this movie?” I answered, “I’m not sure; I’m just trying to keep up!” And that’s all the movie really wants you to do…just keep up. “Buckaroo Banzai” cannot be bothered with such trivial annoyances as giving you the backstory or checking in with you every few minutes to make sure you understand the plot. The movie has more important things to do. In the words of Rawhide, one of Buckaroo’s roughest and toughest compatriots, “We’re busy people here.”
Here’s a great little scene featuring the heavily-armed Hong Kong Cavaliers, a distraught Ellen Barkin and a nightclub full of people from the early ’80s doing what people from the early ’80s did: they wore skinny ties, turned up their collars and danced (shudder) like that.
If you have never seen this movie, I highly recommend…you know what, maybe not. It is not for everybody, and that’s okay. Everybody’s different, and so is this movie. Very different.