At his best, Carpenter was able to do amazing things with low budgets and a surfeit of creativity but this isn't one of those instances.
Would seem to be as close to a can’t-miss premise as one can imagine yet, despite that, it somehow does miss – and by a wide margin.
Too little about the film feels like real life and who wants a fantasy film that’s such a relentless downer?
Silly, dumb, and completely nonsensical – exactly what one could reasonably expect from the movie and what the fans (given a choice) would demand.
With too little emphasis placed on and exploring the rich possibilities of the milieu, the movie turns into a ho-hum Vin Diesel action film.
It’s more of the same: Violence-saturated eye candy used to buff Smith’s ego and inflate his bank account.
This is what ‘80s comedies were and all of them, "Better Off Dead" included, are more valuable today as time capsules than as artistic endeavors.
A forgettable merging of a fish-out-of-water story with a cross-cultural romance, this musical lacks personality.
A standard-order action/thriller with adequate performances, occasional bursts of tension, awful dialogue, and a minimal narrative.