Airheads

You won't feel too much like a jerk watching this rock & roll hostage comedy. There are laugh licks and spirited performances. It's fluff done with flair about an L.A. band called the Lone Rangers — never mind that three people can't be lone. Lead singer Chazz (Brendan Fraser), bassist Rex (Steve Buscemi) and drummer Pip (Adam Sandler) just want to rock, man, but no radio station will play their tape. So they hold a gun on smartass DJ Ian (Joe Mantegna) and sleazy program manager Milo (Michael McKean). The gun is only a water pistol, but Milo and Ian don't know that. The Lone Rangers are suddenly badass media sensations who have the world ready to listen. But the boneheads can't find their demo.

The Rich Wilkes script is a dumbed-down "Dog Day Afternoon." But director Michael Lehmann, a long way from the keen wit of Heathers, hasn't lost his touch with actors. Fraser and Buscemi are deadpan delights. And Sandler, Opera Man on "SNL," is a red-hot screen find. There are also cameos from Michael Richards, Chris Farley and Beavis and Butt-head. "You guys suck," B&B tell the band. They're right. But thanks to a gifted cast of zanies, "Airheads" doesn't.

From The Archives Issue 272: August 24, 1978