Weird Science (1985)
Weird Science (1985)

Genre: Sci-Fi Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 34 min.

Release Date: August 2nd, 1985 MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: John Hughes Actors: Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Kelly LeBrock, Bill Paxton, Suzanne Snyder, Judie Aronson, Robert Downey Jr., Robert Rusler, Vernon Wells, Barbara Lang, Anne Bernadette Coyle

 


 

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-year-old Gary Wallace (Anthony Michael Hall) and his 15-year-old pal Wyatt Donnelly (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) stare longingly at the class of girls practicing gymnastics at their Chicago school, dreaming about a night on the town with a bevy of gorgeous babes. But in reality (“Why are you messing with the fantasy?”), no one likes them and they’re the constant target of juvenile harassment and discombobulation. That evening, they watch a Frankenstein movie at Wyatt’s unsupervised home, inspiring them to build a digital girl with his hi-tech computer equipment. Quite unbelievably, they upload neural information and photographic data (from Playboy and Cosmopolitan magazines) to flesh out their creation, which can only be seen on the monitor. But with some help from a Barbie doll wired to the system and a magically occult electrical storm, a real live woman emerges from their room.

The first thing the two teens want to do with the perfectly formed 23-year-old Lisa (Kelly LeBrock) is to shower with her – though they keep most of their clothes on. Next, they stroll into a swanky nightclub to mingle and drink. But when they drunkenly return home, Wyatt’s militarized older brother Chet (Bill Paxton) effortlessly brings down the mood. The following morning, just as they convince themselves that it was all a dream, paragon of lustiness Lisa calls out from downstairs while fixing breakfast. Her big plan for the boys is to orchestrate a massive soiree that night, where the typical ingredients of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll can turn the house into an orgy-like celebration of girls, food, loud music, and instant popularity.

“I don’t know what’s going on here!” Trying to visualize the ideal adolescent male fantasy, “Weird Science” dispenses with sensibility and smart construction to cut right to LeBrock oozing sexuality, making out with Wyatt, and letting the underage kids imbibe and drive without a license. Fake IDs, a fast Porsche and Ferrari, and a skimpily-dressed supermodel aid the discovery of unrevealed party-animal qualities, even while restrictive parents (a couple of scenes demonstrate culture and age clashes to hilarious extremes) and mischievous classmates attempt to spoil the fun.

Commentary on misguided teen romance and love, testosterone-fueled misadventures, and nonexistent self-esteem make their way into the series of alternately embarrassing, awe-inspiring, and inexplicable science-fiction shenanigans. Imparting notes of standing up to authority (and having someone else for mental and emotional support), courageously fighting back against bullies, accepting oneself without needing to show off, and boosting confidence, the film also spontaneously introduces otherworldly obstacles to combat for extra character-building and heroism. Amusingly, Lisa is only present to coach and instigate, not to interfere with the actual problem-solving (save for when it comes to Chet, who gets a memorable dose of his own medicine from the hyper-sexualized Mary Poppins). Though there’s some racist stuff and lost potential for well-placed nudity (the PG-13 rating is unexpected for this plot), the project does include a catchy theme song and writer/director John Hughes’ superiority with coming-of-age dialogue and drama. “Weird Science” is certainly more of an over-the-top comedy than his previous two quintessential teen outings (“Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club”), but it’s nonetheless outlandishly silly and a whole lot of fun.

– Mike Massie

  • 8/10