Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Canon Movie Review: Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

This review came about because of an idea from reader Sonny V. He requested that I play the NES versions of both Back to the Future and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and compare how closely those games follow the movie's script. Well, since I've seen Back to the Future recently, I pretty much know that script, but since it has been a long time since I've seen Bill and Ted, I decided I must familiarize myself with the film, and therefore made the decision to watch the movie. Also, since I'm watching it anyway, I might as well do a review about it. As it turns out, it was probably unnecessary since the plot is so simple that anyone with half a brain can understand it. Basically, two California teenage rockers have to pass their history report, or otherwise one of them, Ted "Theodore" Logan, will be sent to an Alaskan military school. However, the future depends on Ted and his partner in crime, Bill S. Preston ESQ. to stick together and perfect their rock music and the band the Wyld Stallyns. So George Carlin goes back in time and gives the two guys a time traveling phone booth to assist them on their report. They end up collecting a bunch of historical figures for their report, but various hyjinx ensues. So the rest of the movie has the two trying to make it to their school on time for the report. Got it? Good. Now here are a few thoughts on the movie.

- Bill's dad was a bit of a creep. For one thing, he married a girl that went to high school with his son. That's a mid-life crisis if I've ever heard of one. Another thing is that he gives Bill some money to go to the Circle K so he can do his wife Missy right on his bed. Hopefully, Bill changed his sheets once he got home. Come to think of it, Socrates and Sigmund Freud shouldn't be hitting on teenage girls at the mall either.

- Ted's father is a jerk as well. I understand that Ted's an underachiever and all that, but if you want to send your son all the way to Alaska, then you must really not want to deal with him anymore. I'm sure there are many military schools in California, but instead Mr. Logan wants to send his son all the way to Alaska. That's a bit extreme, don't you think?

- The portrayal of the various historical figures is rather interesting. Most of them seem to act as a stranger in a strange land, which many people probably would act like if they had been brought forward in time through a cramped phone booth. Billy the Kid, however, seems to take to time traveling rather quickly, even adopting some of Bill and Ted's language as his own.

- Meanwhile, Napoleon somehow got stuck with Ted's younger brother Deacon. Like any sane person would do with a French Emporer from the 1800s, Deacon decides to take Napoleon with him on a date with two girls. Napoleon eats a giant bowl of ice cream, and then they go bowling, where Napoleon knows nothing about the sport except how to cheat. Eventually, Deacon and girls ditch Napoleon at the bowling alley because, as Deacon told Ted later in the movie, "he was a dick" Probably the most accurate description of Napoleon in cinematic history.

- Towards the end of the movie, all of the historic figures brought forward in time get arrested for various crimes at a shopping mall. Genghis Kahn got arrested when he grabbed a metal bat and started beating a mannequin with it. He then proceeded to attack the mall cops, which isn't a good idea, even for Genghis Kahn. Most of them probably deserved it, but I was perplexed by Beethoven's arrest. All he did was put together a couple of keyboards and started playing them, to the amusement of the large crowd gathered around him. Sure, the owners would probably kick him out of the store after a while, but I don't see where he committed a crime serious enough to warrant arrest. If you ask me, those mall cops are a bunch of jerks, arresting Beethoven like that.

- Before Rufus (George Carlin) saves the day with his time machine, Bill and Ted decide that the best way to learn about history is to ask people at the Circle-K. I shudder to think what answers I would get if I tried this method at some of the gas stations in my area.

- Unlike most of his recent work, Keanu Reaves showed more than one emotion in this film. He even had a different look on his face besides the blank stare he always has. It was quite refreshing. Actually, both Reaves (Ted) and Alex Winter (Bill) were quite excellent in this film. Most of the actors did pretty good, with some minor exceptions (particularly the rescued princesses who were supposed to be attracted to the two, but looked as if they'd rather crawl through 100 yards of garbage). But overall, I can't complain too much.

Overall, this movie is very good for what it is. It's not a movie made to taken seriously, or to be remembered as an epic film like Citizen Kane. It's simply a fun film that provides some laughs and should entertain most audiences. I'll give this film a 7.5 out of 10. Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future posts, than either share them by leaving a comment or by e-mail at KtheC2001@gmail.com. As a bonus, here's a video not from this movie, but rather it is from Mitchell. I should have posted it earlier, but what can you do? Anyway, this sequence was cut out of the MST3K version, and features Mitchell being chased by dune buggies. Enjoy:

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