Hollywood seems obsessed of late with bringing comic-book characters to life--fallout, no doubt, from last year's commercial success of "Batman," and on through "Dick Tracy" and the summer's sleeper hit "Darkman." Even "The Flash" and "Swamp Thing" now have their own TV series.
None of these guys, however, can compare with Buckaroo Banzai, the greatest comic-book hero who never was. True, there's no analogous real-world version of Buckaroo. But in "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai"--a wacky, jam-packed film that melds a variety of genres--Banzai is a neurosurgeon/particle physicist-turned-Zen rock 'n' roll detective who has his own comic book and a fan club (the Blue Blaze Irregulars) that's poised to come to his aid at the drop of an aerial ladder.
As portrayed by a pre-RoboCop Peter Weller, Buckaroo is also the hippest super-hero around. When not fronting his band of New Jersey rock 'n' rollers, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, he's busy creating a device to penetrate the eighth dimension.
Once he accomplishes this feat--much to the consternation of his insane asylum-bound archenemy, Dr. Emilio Lizardo (in another brilliantly chameleonic performance by John Lithgow)--Buckaroo must make peace between the warring Red and Black Lectroids or risk the destruction of planet Earth. But enough said about the credibility-shattering story that masquerades as a plot.