Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin, Terry Camilleri
Two seemingly dumb teens struggle to prepare a historical presentation with the help of a time machine.
Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are just charming, goofy, and silly enough to make this fluffy time-travel Adventure work.
  • Orion Pictures Corporation Company:
  • PG Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 17 Feb 1989 Released:
  • 04 Dec 2001 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

A 10/10 on the fun scale5/10

WOW. Talk about a childhood classic! Bill and Ted first surfaced when I was nine years old. Those were the days...I don't know how many times my best friend and I watched this one, but it must have been every day during our third grade year. I've watched it countless times after that and it has yet to lose its charm. When Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey came out a couple of years later, the process repeated itself. These are two movies about a couple of (seemingly) burn-out teens who don't take drugs, which leads one to the conclusion that they were just born idiots. Thing is, just by being stupid, everything seems to happen right for them wherever they go, thanks to good ole Rufus (George "the king" Carlan).

Excellent Adventure starts with our idiot duo, doing what they do; jamming out in the garage (on guitars they can't play) and talking nonstop about how someday, somehow, their band "Wyld Stalyns" will open for Iron Maiden. When their dream is threatened by the reality that they are flunking out in history, things take a turn. What it all boils down to is that they need to have a badass history report or they're both going to flunk out and Ted will be sent to military school by his mean, police officer dad.


This is where Rufus comes in. He shows up in a time machine (in the form of a phone booth) and claims to have all the answers to their problems. The time machine is just what they need for their history report so it's "back in time we go", to capture historically significant figures (Socrates, Napolean, Billy the Kid, Joan of Arc, Abe Lincoln, etc.). The fun never stops.

I'm really not sure why this movie works as well as it does. It takes an idea that would sound completely stupid on paper, and somehow, makes it all come together. The characters are completely likeable and the script is sharply written. Best of all, this movie is just good fun. The music is awesome too. If you have never seen this movie or its sequel, you are seriously depraved. Go put on your old Megadeth t-shirt, ragged out jeans, and a few beers, plop down on the couch and enjoy.
A surprisingly gnarly comedy!5/10

June 8, 2002 was an 80's renaissance for me. Playing an emulated ColecoVision on my PC, listening to Huey Lewis, Prince, and Men At Work, watching the A-Team on TNN, and seeing this film from 1989. I still enjoy the decade of feathered mullets, jerri-curled hair, acid-washed jeans, skinny ties, dominant pop music, and terrible fashions. The 90's will never have that to live down (except terrible fashions, but not as bad).

When Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure became the surprise hit of 1989, it made a star of everyone's favorite Lebanese-Canadian-U.S. rock 'n rolling actor, Keanu Reeves, who is one of the top stars at the box office today and one of the few likeable people in Tinseltown. It seems that he still carries a bit of Theodore "Ted" Logan in all his movies.

He and Alex Winter (an indie film dynamo) play Bill and Ted, a couple of 80's California dudes who want to start their own rock band (Wyld Stallyons). However, both are flunking in high school and will be expelled unless they get an A+ in history. To make matters worse, Ted will be sent to the military by his father, therefore squashing their dreams of rock stardom. Enter Rufus (George Carlin), a man from the future who plays Clarence to the boys George (shades of It's A Wonderful Life) who gives them a telephone booth. With it, they decide to use it to collect great historical figures and bring them to San Dimas, California to show them how mankind has evolved.

Surprisingly, the film holds up today. Bill and Ted are truly likeable boneheads and both Reeves and Winter deliver fine performances. Carlin is funny in his appearances, showing that he doesn't need trash-talk to be entertaining. The dialogue is truly amusing, probably because no one talks like that any more. The only weakness is that it's an 80's film, so if you didn't grow up in that era, you might not understand why there's music playing throughout the film, or why everyone looks and dresses so weird (yes, that's how everyone looked in the 1980's). The DVD version is quite nice, but it only has a trailer as a bonus. Still, a must watch, and much better than all the copycat films (including the horrible Dude, Where's My Car?). Party On!
"Whoa..."5/10

Despite the success of such films as "Speed" and "The Matrix" trilogy, to a
lot of people, Keanu Reeves will ALWAYS be Ted, the taller, darker half of the Bill & Ted duo. And it would seem that Ted, of all Reeves many characters, is possibly the only one where he really seemed to have put himself into the role and felt like a natural.

One of the great dopey dude slacker classics, the title characters Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (the aforementioned Reeves) are a pair of aspiring musicians, the Wild Stallions, who are in danger of being both separated if Ted can't pull up a good enough grade (which = military school) and flunking history class in general. But since they are destined to be "the 2 Great Ones" who's music will unite the Earth and even alien races together in universal harmony, the most excellent dude Rufus (George Carlin) shows up and gives them a time traveling phone booth to help them pass their history class by bringing back real historical figures like Billy the Kid, Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon, Joan of Ark and what not. Now all they have to do is keep them from getting separated and jailed before they have to pass history! Along the way, Bill & Ted also fall in love with two sexy virgin princesses from the medieval circa.

Yeah it's not great cinema, but it's a fun romp of slacker dude madness thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves as the title characters.

Followed by "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey".
Probably one of the most intelligently written screenplays of alltime.5/10

Any idiot can sit down and spend four or seven years of his life writing out his "masterpiece." You do some research, you do some hard work, you get a little help from friends and family, and you get it done. But, it takes a true writing genius (or geniuses, in this case) to create something as original as "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure." The ingenuity of the movie can even be seen in its delightful tagline: "History is about to be re-written by two guys who can't spell." This tagline is both simple and clever, while being both corny and slightly comical. Like "Real Genius," this film utilizes ideas from both the highest form of screenwriting while still delving into the lowest common denominator, somehow doing both at the same time. For instance, to perfectly grasp the concept of Bill and Ted's "lingo," one would truly have to stoop to the lowest rung of the intelligence level. But, with such ingenius ideas as having Bill and Ted meet each other in the beginning of the film, then later finding themselves, allowing the audience to gain insight on what happened in the past is just a stroke of cinematic brilliance. And the running gag about "when the Mongols conquered China" was one of the many cherries on the cake. Even some of the background comments (after being told he's "too tall, man" making the phone booth even more crowded, Lincoln responds: "That's how I'm built.") Any movie where Genghis Kahn is tempted to come into a phone booth by a Twinkie has to be something special. If only production companies and filmmakers would take a chance on something as original as a time travelling phone booth carrying two idiots on the course to better the future, the public could finally go back to watching movies in theaters again.
Switch off your brain and enjoy the ride!5/10
This movie rules. Am I afraid to admit it? Nope, 'cause it's the truth! I know by reading some of my reviews I sound like some stuffy person who doesn't like any fluffy comedies or unintelligent humor, but that's not always the case. Yes, there are good fluffy comedies that promise a really fun watch.

I can't even count how many times I've seen this movie, but somehow it never gets old. 'Bill and Ted' is of course NOT a great movie, but it never pretends to be one, and I guess that's why I like it so much.

I've always had a huge fascination with the idea of time travel (why else would I love 'Back to the Future' so much?), and this movie actually makes it look really, really fun. Not to mention that Bill and Ted's mispronunciation of the historical figures' names ("So-crates!") makes it all the more hilarious.

Did I mention that Rufus is totally awesome? No? Well go ahead and kick me in the face!