Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure Movie Review

The obvious inspirations for Wayne and Garth, Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) first hit history in this witty, winning tale of two modern-day So-Cal misfits who end up travelling through time. The impetus? A future society bases all of its culture on the music Bill and Ted's band, Wyld Stallyns (And notably the phrase, "Be excellent to each other") -- but all of that might never happen if the burnouts don't get their history report done.

Alas, it doesn't look good. Bill and Ted are walking mistakes as it is. They can't pronounce Socrates and believe Caeser was "a salad dressing dude." But their grasp of superlative adjectives like triumphant and gnarly is impressive indeed, so maybe there's hope.

So the future dudes send back a little help in the form of Rufus (George Carlin), who appears in a phone booth that drops from the sky one night ("Strange things are afoot at the Circle K!"). Rufus gives them the travelling phone booth, and off they go on an adventure to collect historical figures for their history report. And that's where all the fun is -- It takes a certain deranged genius to have Socrates and Billy the Kid hitting on chicks at the mall, only to have Sigmund Freud cramp their style.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure became Keanu Reeves' most renowned role on his rise to stardom -- and despite a decade of anti-idiot roles in movies like Speed and The Matrix, he has yet to shake the stigma that Ted "Theodore" Logan left on his career. Ironically, Alex Winter has faded into obscurity -- he hasn't had a leading role since 1993. (Fittingly, writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon have since taken divergent paths as well. While Solomon has written some blockbusters like Men in Black and Charlie's Angels, Matheson is recently credited with Stepsister From the Planet Weird. Bogus!)

Bill & Ted is hardly the greatest film ever made, but if you want to see the penultimate film about teen apathy in the 1980s -- while learning something about history in the process (okay, not really) -- this Excellent Adventure keeps it coming like a 24-hour water slide.

The new "Most Excellent Collection" box set includes the original and the sequel, plus an extra disc of bonus material, including a making-of documentary, an interview with Steve Vai(!?), radio ads, and all manner of most excellent add-ons.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : , Michael S. Murphey,


Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: PG, 1989


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