Arrow Video: Blinded with Science - Weird Science (1985) Reviewed

The third film in John Hughes' directorial repertoire and one of the more underappreciated comedy gems of the 1980's, Weird Science is almost a different kind of caliber from the more prestigious likes of The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It's less tender in its portrayal of the hardships of the mid 20th century teenager's life and far more carefree- instead focusing all its energy on an utterly preposterous and hilarious tale of lust and friendship that I'm shocked I haven't seen before now.

Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith have a stunning kind of screen chemistry- nearly the same kind that Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter bear in the Bill & Ted films, yet there's some kind of touching spin about this pair that John Hughes gives them that was missing from the latter. Hughes does a typically excellent job at portraying these high school losers' lives both in and out of class, properly giving their situations ample backstory to explain their dire need of the perfect woman. That's about as deep as his story will go, however, as most critics at the time of its release agreed that its silly premise and outrageous outcomes set it apart from other teen comedies of the era.

Fortunately, Weird Science has retained a kind of cult classic status, thrilling audiences around the world with its remarkable box office success in spite of the critics and retaining a special place in the hearts of many children of the 80's to this day. Naturally, I can't empathize or associate with those sentiments, but that doesn't stop me from harboring my own kind of personal appreciation for these kind of films, as I found this to be right up my alley. It's wild, weird, wonderful, and wacky- just about everything I had hoped for from a film about two buddies building a perfect girl.

A stellar coming-of-age comedy about maturing into blossoming young love, Weird Science finds itself accompanied by a timeless performance from Kelly LeBrock and an early appearance from Robert Downey, Jr. Hughes' subliminal message about unwinding and living out your youngest years to the fullest resonates even to this day's modern age, proving just how versatile and timeless his filmography is. There never has been another like Hughes- Weird Science is just further evidence that he was a master of the coming-of-age story: perfecting and bringing the genre to its absolute limits.

-Wes Ball