Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Doctor Who, anyone?
What do you get when you cross Wayne’s World with Doctor Who? There’s no question to that one – you get Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Just watch the thing, they have the same accents, say the same things, have the same attitude, play the same air guitars, combined with the same-ish sound effects. All the while, they travel through space and time vortexes in a phone booth? Remind you of anything else? It’s all good, though, because Bill & Ted are so loveable, and this adventure is most definitely excellent.
Most of you already know what the story is here, but in case you don’t, it’s obviously about Bill and Ted. Two jamming buddies who are also idiots…now. In the future, they are loved by everyone and practically regarded as Gods. However, they are about to flunk a history exam – which would result in Ted being sent to military school. The future decides to send back a time machine to help set things right. So Bill and Ted decide to travel through history and kidnap huge historical figures for their oral exam.
Yeah, any doofus on the planet can tell where the writers got their inspiration – but it’s interesting to me that they don’t flatly point that out in the film and just chuck it off as a parody. It’s funny enough, but then it occurred to me that back then…that’s not what parodies did. Parodies worked off of an idea, that’s it. So parts of this film feel like a parody, but a really well put-together parody. The idea is so simple, and so over-the-top that it’s practically self-aware. They know it’s over-the-top and stupid, and they thrive off of that fact. This is one of those movies that you watch just because it’s fun.
There are a few things that don’t really translate perfectly nowadays – but they aren’t major distractions. The main one, in my opinion, is the “far out, party on” accents and personalities. Those kind of people are ultimately extinct nowadays, so not a lot of people can connect with them on that level – but at the same time, they are hilarious. A lot of people can’t handle Keanu Reeves saying “woah” too many times, but the way it is done here is priceless simply because the characters are really memorable. I will admit that some of the exclamations throughout the movie are a little repetitive and it starts to feel a tad old, but again – those are fleeting moments.
This is a largely nostalgic film. Those who saw it years ago are likely to lock in the entertainment level and pull it out again when watching it today – and that’s great…but how does it measure up to a modern audience? It’s hard to say, but I think a lot of the written material for the comedy still measures up, because I was catching things left and right that I hadn’t when I was younger – and I was laughing out loud. There’s a lot of over-the-top, random humor in there that I really think you’ll enjoy.
No matter how over-the-top, random, and educational this flick is (for a movie about history), Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is quite an epic movie when you think about it. It’s not only about Bill and Ted, but it’s also about all of these well-known historical figures throughout time – and how they perceive our world – and the various time periods. It’s also about their interactions with each other that just seems brilliant. The whole thing together creates a really fantastic cult comedy.
Some of the material here just doesn’t measure up for a modern audience. Some teenager that wants to see what the fuss is all about might call this thing cheesy and really not connect with it. That’s what I fear, because after long, no one will care to watch it anymore, which is really a shame.