Along with Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, Weird Science helped establish John Hughes as king of '80s teenybopper comedy, though this immature, wish-fulfillment fantasy is clearly meant for the boys. Given his first opportunity to really carry a movie, Anthony Michael Hall does not disappoint, playing the kind of smart-alecky loveable loser that everyone knew back in high school. Ilan-Mitchell Smith, never really heard from again after this movie, is the more sensitive half of the underdog pair, who have a great time learning from the English babe (Kelly LeBrock) they improbably conceive through a combination of computer programs and glamour magazine cut-outs. Unapologetically sophomoric, the film earns its enduring appeal with a number of gonzo set pieces, most notably the climactic party that's interrupted by a biker gang out of Mad Max, which Gary and Wyatt must overcome to win their keep. Weird Science throws together a goofy mixture of sci-fi, teenage sex fantasy, and high school satire to earn guilty grins from beginning to end. As in his other hits from this era, Hughes' screenplay is endlessly quotable. Credit also goes to the memorable supporting performances turned in by Robert Downey Jr., offering up an early version of his trademark dismissive flamboyance; Britt Leach and Barbara Lang as Gary's hilariously spellbound parents; and, in a scene-stealing turn that's assumed classic status, Bill Paxton as Chet, Wyatt's bullying military brother, who takes sadistic pleasure in making the boys squirm.
by Derek Armstrong review