Sunday, October 13, 2019

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

There are some movies that have a timeless feel to them.  I can watch The Princess Bride and it will always be a great movie.  Others tend to feel dated after a while.  Movies like Blazing Saddles were definitely a product of their times.  This isn’t to say that it’s a bad movie, but rather that it hasn’t aged well.  Somewhere in the middle is Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  It’s still a most excellent adventure, but it still has a slight whiff of the late 1980s.

The movie centers around Ted “Theodore” Logan and Bill S. Preston, Esquire.  They’re two slackers who are about to flunk out of high school.  This is some seriously bad news.  If this happens, Ted will be shipped off to a military school in Alaska.  Without Ted, the band Wyld Stalyns won’t form and serve as the basis for a wonderful future where everyone gets along.  So, the future residents of San Dimas send Rufus back to make sure that Bill and Ted pass an oral report.

Rufus lends the duo a time machine in the form of a phone booth.  They can dial any time and place they want, so Bill and Ted decide to visit a bunch of historical figures, like Socrates and Billy the Kid.  Instead, eight people from history come to the San Dimas of 1989 to tell Bill and Ted’s school about what they think of modern society.

Needless to say, it’s not easy.  Bill and Ted have to bust the people out of jail, for instance.  There’s also the issue of getting Napoleon out of a water park named Waterloo.  Bill and Ted are also not the brightest.  Billy the Kid is referred to as Mr. The Kid.  They also pronounce Socrates more like it’s spelled.  So, yeah.  The future of the world rests on these two.

I remember really liking the movie when I first saw it.  This is probably because I was closer in age to the two main characters.  It’s still a funny movie and would probably get a few laughs on first viewing.  However, it’s not quite as funny when you know the jokes are coming.

The movie doesn’t delve into the paradoxes of time travel too much.  The movie is a comedy and is more focused on the jokes, like Beethoven discovering synthesizers at a mall.  (Like I said, 1980s.)  It does make for a smoother movie and I didn’t find myself finding too many plot holes or inconsistencies.  It is a little odd that no one reacts to modern-day clothing in the past, though.

I was prompted to watch this when I heard news of Bill & Ted Face the Music.  It would seem that Keanu Reeves is destined to be a man of trilogies.  Interestingly, both The Matrix and John Wick franchises each seem to have a new movie coming out.  This would make Mr. Reeves very busy for the next few years.

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