Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure might be one of the dumbest yet entertaining movies ever made. It marks the beginning of the age of totally pointless stoner flicks geared toward the teenage burn-out. However, with an open mind even the non-stoners can enjoy the film on a very basic level. Much like Jeff Specoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Ted Logan (aka Theodore Logan) and Bill S. Preston ‘esquire’ are threatened to fail history if they don’t get an A on their presentation. Their troubles are solved when a mysterious man comes to them with a phone-booth time machine that will bring them into the past to gather information for their presentation. It’s almost like reading rainbow for stoners in that it brings together simple historical concepts into a fun and interesting setting. The movie makes an obvious reference to Fast Times at Ridgemont High with the struggle between teen and authority figure. Once the teens realize that history and learning can actually be fun when it is put into terms they can relate to, they are finally able to respect the teacher’s efforts to teach. Some of the interactions between the historical figures are actually very clever, like some of the more subtle jokes with Freud. Whereas some of them are almost painfully stupid, like Lincoln’s speech to the class in which he tells the class to “party on, dude.” Despite all the work they do to gather all the figures, and the lessons they learn, they still can’t properly pronounce the names of some of the historical figures or understand the concepts. Like many films of the 80’s, this film is best if taken for pure entertainment value. There is apparently a Bill and Ted cult following, which can be found online at www.billandted.org.

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