Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure Review
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These days, outrageous slacker comedies are everywhere, with comic adventures like The Hangover generally raking in big box office bucks. But while these wild and crazy comedies may seem like a thing of the 21st century, they’re really nothing new. After all, 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure was a wacky slacker comedy before slacker comedies were cool.

Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter star as Ted “Theodore” Logan and Bill S. Preston, Esq., a pair of dim-witted teens who dream of becoming rock superstars. Unfortunately, though, they’re about to fail their history class—and, if they do, Ted’s dad (Hal Landon, Jr.) intends to ship him off to military school in Alaska, thereby breaking up their band, Wyld Stallyns, and killing their dreams of rock stardom.

  
 
But more than just a garage band hangs in the balance. In the future, the world is a peaceful—and super-cool—place, thanks to the rock stylings of Wyld Stallyns. With the duo’s history grade in danger, so is the world’s perfect future. So a man named Rufus (George Carlin) travels back to the ‘80s in a time-traveling phone booth to help the boys get an A+ on their final history report.

With its cheesy futuristic effects and its harebrained young heroes, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure could have easily been a gratingly obnoxious comedy. Instead, there’s something endearing about the cheesiness of it all—and the characters are surprisingly lovable. While today’s slackers have a tendency to be lazy (and often even mean-spirited) troublemakers, Bill and Ted are just a couple of cluelessly well-meaning California dudes. They’re upbeat and sincere, and they truly like everyone (and everything) around them. They don’t want to get in anyone’s way; they just want to hang out in their garage and rock out.

Perhaps the greatest part of the movie’s appeal, however, is that it never takes itself too seriously. Reeves and Winter totally overplay their characters, but that just makes them even funnier. Despite their often blatant overacting, they were both perfectly cast—and they clearly had the time of their lives while making this movie. Their excitement is absolutely infectious, and it makes Bill & Ted’s so much more than just a lame comedy about a couple of time-traveling idiots.

The writing, meanwhile, is often surprisingly clever, with some of the smartest dim-witted dialogue you’ll ever hear. And the historical figures’ adventures through the mall of the ‘80s just add to the fun.

While the characters in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure may be outrageously overcooked and the story may be ridiculous, that’s all just a part of this slacker comedy’s charm. So, more than two decades after its release, this blast from the past is still a wild—and often wildly funny—romp through time.


Blu-ray Review:
The Blu-ray release of this fun-filled time-traveling adventure also comes complete with a few fun-filled extras—including an episode of the animated series, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures, and a hilarious air guitar tutorial with air guitar champions The Rockness Monster and Bjorn Turoque (of Air Guitar Nation fame).

For more on the movie itself, though, don’t miss The Original Bill & Ted: In Conversation with Chris & Ed. In this amusing and insightful short feature, Bill & Ted creators Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon discuss their inspiration for the movie, along with their filmmaking experiences and their dreams of getting the gang back together again.

The extras included with this ‘80s comedy classic are perfectly in-line with the film’s over-the-top spirit. So after you journey back in time with this dim-witted duo, be sure to visit the special features menu, too.

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