Passable films are born ceaselessly out of film studios these days, distracting audiences from true cinematic gems. Yet, a time existed when films were made for fun, and the story was second to box-office return. Enter 1989’s Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
Bill and Ted follows the titular characters (Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, respectively) journey through time, persuading some of history’s most notable figures to speak for their class presentation. If they fail, both their grades and the universe is in jeopardy. A ridiculous but fun premise. It answers questions like “was Freud a pedophile?” and “would Napoleon enjoy ice-cream?”. Flaws are aplenty, but the film deserves your forgiveness and attention. It is carefree and awash in the milieu of 1980s pop-culture, conjuring up a striking juxtaposition between today’s America and the post-cold war climate. Maybe this is what Trump meant by MAGA.
Unlike so many comedies of the era, the characters possess no underlying malicious intention, nor fall greedy to the gifts bestowed upon them (i.e. a fucking time machine). They aspire their peers to “be excellent to each other”, a simple ethic with endless potential. One that is so relevant is transcends time, from ancient Greece to the 27th century. The film teaches us that intelligence is relative, and heroism is not destined towards any specific individual. These rare ninety minutes melt away in a heartbeat, providing a truly excellent adventure.