Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Directed by Stephen Herek
Written by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon
History is about to be rewritten by two guys who can’t spell…
Since its release in 1989, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure inspired a sequel (Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey), a Saturday morning cartoon, a comic book series, and launched actor Keanu Reeves into movie stardom. That is excellent enough reason to explain why Bill and Ted went on to become a cult classic of epic proportions. But why is this film so loved even today?
It’s a no-brainer of a film, but an effective one, no less. Bill and Ted sparkles with simple charm, a vibrant cast, and a brand of Valley-dude-speech, delivered with perfect timing throughout, by the young cast. It also identifies itself completely with its heroes and their simple philosophy to ‘be excellent to each other’. Unlike the protagonists of recent comedies, Bill and Ted demonstrate a heavy dose of likability, allowing the viewer to keep rooting for them, despite the film’s many shortcomings.
Think Wayne’s World meets Back to the Future.
Made on a low budget, this isn’t the most glamorous of productions; with cheaply made sets, terrible lighting, dollar store costumes and a dreadful soundtrack; yet its make-do approach parallels the slacker attitude of its central characters. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter (largely unknown at the time), are just charming and silly enough to make this time-travel adventure work; which is no easy task given that on paper, Bill and Ted read as one-note characters. But their surfer-boy slang, mispronunciations of names, air guitar motions, and naiveté, make them, for better or worse, the precursors to generations of future movie characters.
Trivia: Alex Winter auditioned for the role of Ted and Keanu Reeves auditioned for the role of Bill.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a rarity; a stoner flick that contains no excessive profanity, no explicit sexual content and no drug use – Excellent.
- Ricky D