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!