Sci-Fi December: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Bill and Ted illustration by Jeff SchwartzbauerBill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure – 1989

Dir: Stephen Herek | Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin

Year: 2688, 1988, 1805, 1879, 410 BC, 1401, 1901, 1810, 1429, 1209, 1863, 1,000,000 BC

Review: There is more than enough high school movies out there where some kid gets in hot-water over his grades and needs to come up with some wild plan of action to rectify the problem. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is one of those movies, but there is one key difference, its “excellent”. What do I mean by that? Well, by the terms of this film an “Excellent Adventure” is one where you travel through time in a phone booth capturing various historical figures and then using them within your lavish oral report in front of the entire student body in order to pass history class. One of the unannticipated side effects of presenting such a report is that you will become the most influential icons of our entire Human species for at least 700 years. I can’t offer much critical opinion for this movie because its useless for this type of film. You’ll like it or hate it for the same reasons you like or hate Encino Man or maybe Dude, Where’s My Car. Not great movies, not even that funny of movies, but just something absolutely attached to a time period of your youth and due to the right circumstances its affixed itself to part of your past and it can charm you whenever you come across it. But if your a square, or were an old dad at the time, its beyond stupid and you just can’t get it and never will.  In terms of science fiction its real weak, there is whole slews of problems with how they could be affecting time by literally picking up and removing important figures from the past. Not to mention how it doesn’t even make sense why people from 2688 needed to go back in time to ensure mankind’s survival by aiding them in completing a history report – as far as I can tell its just something that needed to be done and I figure they did the research. If there is anything that anyone should take from this film it is this poetic nugget passed off as a mere-joke delivered by a meat-head jock, but is really a thought provoking reflection on our progress as a civilization and our place in the world.

“Everything is different, but the same. Things are more moderner than before. Bigger…   and yet smaller! There’s computers. San Dimas high-school football rules!!” 

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