Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

bill and teds excellent adventure poster 1989 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Funny, dumb '80s comedy

Sometimes can get really dumb

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Studio:  Interscope

Genre(s):  Comedy/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  February 17, 1989

MPAA Rating:  PG

bill and teds excellent adventure phonebooth alex winters keanu reeves

Whoa! We’re totally jumping time

Bill S. Preston, Esquire (Alex Winter) and Ted “Theodore” Logan (Keanu Reeves) are Wyld Stallynz…but they aren’t that good.  In the future however, Bill and Ted will change the world and become the basis for society.  Therefore when Ted’s father (Hal Langdon) threatens to send Ted to military school if he fails history, Bill and Ted must find a way to pass.  Rufus (George Carlin) is sent back in time to help Bill and Ted give the most excellent history report…for if they fail, the future could collapse and it could be completely bogus.

Directed by Stephen Herek, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a sci-fi comedy.  The film received average to negative reviews but was a big box office success.  The movie has a cult following.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure came out at just the right time for me.  In middle school, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure with its PG rating was aimed at people around my age.  As a result, I have some nostalgia for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and see through its faults.

bill and teds excellent adventure ziggy piggy napoleon terry camillerio

Who’s a Ziggy Piggy?

The plot for the movie at points is smart and at points very stupid.  The movie is essentially a “what if” Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High had a friend just like him and travelled through time.  The time trips are rather short and under developed (the longest adventure is probably in medieval England), but the over storyline is kind of fun with dumb Bill & Ted changing the future of civilization.  Sometimes the time travel discussion is smart, but sometime it is dumb.  The movie just doesn’t maintain the level it needs to maintain to be “excellent”.

It is funny today to watch the movie in that Alex Winter feels more like the “star” of the film.  Both Keanu and Winter hadn’t done much before Bill & Ted’s, but Winter was part of the wildly popular The Lost Boys.  Keanu had a larger resume and an appearance in Dangerous Liaison, but here he almost feels a bit more like the secondary character.  The biggest star when the film was made was George Carlin as Bill and Ted’s mentor from the future.  Most of the other actors in the film are character actors.

bill and teds excellent adventure alex winters keanu reeves

69, Dude!

The visuals likewise are pretty cheap.  The historical settings are pretty generic and even most of San Dimas was actually shot in Phoenix, Arizona.  I do say (even watching it today) that I wish I still could go to “Waterloo”.  The water park used in the film is actually two water parks:  Raging Waters in San Dimas and Golfland Sunsplash in Mesa, Arizona.  Either way, as a kid and as an adult, I’d love to go…

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is one of those movies that gets a pass from me.  No, it isn’t very good if you look at it in real terms, but since it did hit me at the right time, I enjoy it and still can enjoy it.  It is also the type of time travel that I can believe in…if time travel has occurred, it has already happened.  Goofy, stupid, and fun, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure still is fun and laugh filled.  Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure was followed by Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey in 1991.

Related Links:

Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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