Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) begins with a bizarre CG sequence that seems kind of out of place. Back in the day, you may have watched the introductory sequence thinking you had stepped in the wrong theatre. I’m sure it was cutting-edge technology at the time, but it hasn’t exactly aged well.
In any case, the movie is about two teenagers, played by Alex Winter (Bill) and Keanu Reeves (Ted) in one of his most infamous roles. The two are in a band called Wyld Stallyns, and are destined for stardom but are blissfully unaware. Both Bill and Ted are flunking their social studies course unless they can pull something together for their final project. The future of the band hangs in the balance as Ted will be sent to military school in Alaska if he flunks out of school. In comes Rufus, played by George Carlin. Rufus travels from the future and offers to help Bill and Ted by providing them with use of a time-travelling phone booth. Bill and Ted thus assemble historical figures such as Joan of Arc and J.S. Bach to help them with their history project. Unfortunately, even Ted’s father is out to foil them, as he arrests all of the historical figures and puts them in jail. Bill and Ted break out the prisoners, and make it to the auditorium for their presentation just in the nick of time. The presentation is a massive success, and Bill and Ted redeem themselves. Later that night, Rufus shows up with the “princesses” they met in 18th century England, and a couple of new guitars to get their band kick-started. The band is still awful and doesn’t know what they’re doing, but apparently the entire society of the future is based on their music so they are destined for success.
All in all, it’s a really fun movie. There are many memorable quotes and laughable moments, even if they aren’t entirely intentional. Keanu Reeves is almost a caricature of himself, playing the part to a tee, but overacting in the process. This Sci-Fi Comedy is one of my favorite band movies of all time. The whole idea that a band’s music could save the world is fantastic, but somehow poignant. I’m a little biased, but I would definitely recommend this film.