Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure ★★★½

Be excellent to each other.

Of course this is a movie I saw as a kid and an adult... but the last viewing was long ago and as the long-rumored third movie is actually finally going to happen, this seemed like the right opportunity to give this another spin.

Normally I would not watch-much less enjoy-a plot so ludicrous and dopey; that's just how I am. However, what helps is that the movie goes all-in on the idea and does not try to couch things with contrived explanations or really any explanation at all when it comes to time travel mechanics or how two valley dudes in the late 80's who have a crappy metal garage band ended up becoming musicians that caused a utopia to be created 700 years later... it just happens, along with the time travel vehicle being a ripoff of the TARDIS.

Also helping is that it's a simple plot where two dim-witted guys have to literally collect historical figures so they can pass high school history and one of them (Ted) doesn't have to go to military school due to flunking out; in 2019, I am sure that many won't like Ted's police officer dad not just for being a jerk, but for also wearing an NRA jacket in one scene. Anyhow, the main reasons why this is still popular enough now to where many are eagerly anticipating the third movie after almost 3 decades... this has plenty of laughs-and at times it is smarter than you expect, with random background gags or using time travel mechanics as a deux ex machina-through such absurdities as “Beeth-oven” rockin' the 80's synths or Billy the Kid and “So-crates” trying to mack on teen girls in the local mall... and except for one moment, Bill & Ted are very easy to root for.

That one moment is an unfortunate artifact of how attitudes were back in the 80's. The music and the fashion are good aspects of the time period this was created-the homophobia was not. After Bill & Ted hug in a happy moment (as Bill thought his buddy was dead), they both utter a word which I won't repeat here, but their negative opinion of homosexuality... not very righteous, and in fact it's heinous. Then again, according to Wikipedia the spec script not only had Charlemagne-referred to as “Charlie Mangay”-but Napoleon was originally HITLER... oh my Lord. Let's be happy they at least changed that.

Yet at least for me that few seconds does not taint the rest of the film or the wacky charm it has in such moments as Napoleon having his Waterloo at a waterpark or Joan of Arc leading an aerobics class.

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