Vibes could’ve been a real lark of a film in the vein of Romancing the Stone, but it just never coagulates into a proper formula.
Plot: Two psychics are hired to find the location of a lost Incan city Located somewhere in the Ecuadorian mountains, that is said to hide a great treasure.
Review: Two treasure hunters trek through a South American badland, venturing deep into a lost city where no man has been in centuries. They find an artifact encased in a pyramid, and the power within it kills one of them and turns the other one comatose. Back in New York, a study at a research lab is commencing where individuals with assorted paranormal “gifts” are being experimented on. The two most promising subjects are lanky, good-hearted psychic Nick Deezy (Jeff Goldblum) and ditsy blonde Sylvia Pickel (Cyndi Lauper), who claims that she has a spirit essence with a name that follows her around. They’re hired by a two-bit shyster (played by Pater Falk) to travel to Ecuador to help lead him to the treasure in the lost city, but under false pretenses: Big mistake, since he’s dealing with people who can easily sense that he’s lying to them. But since this is a comedy caper and somewhat of a love story / adventure, the two psychics agree to go on the adventure, despite all the warning signs, and they get into a situation that is far bigger than even their psychic abilities could have predicted.
A notable box office bomb when theatrically released by Columbia in 1988 (produced by Ron Howard, no less), Vibes could’ve been a real lark of a film in the vein of Romancing the Stone, but it just never coagulates into a proper formula. It’s mildly amusing with Goldblum’s wit and screen appeal, but he’s mismatched with the very green pop star Lauper, who tried making a go of it in the movies with this movie, which she wasn’t suited for. James Horner’s score is a highlight, catching the regional atmosphere just right, but by the end, Vibes just couldn’t win me over. Ken Kwapis directed.
Mill Creek recently released a Blu-ray of Vibes, and while there are no special features on the disc, the high definition transfer of the film looks noticeably better than my DVD of the film, released by Sony at least a decade or more ago. The title is presented in a retro-styled VHS edition.