Keanu Reeves (The Matrix) and Alex Winter (The Lost Boys) deliver "spirited performances" (The Hollywood Reporter) in the original righteous comedy about the two ditzy dudes from San Dimas, California. Also starring George... more » Carlin, this hysterically funny historical comedy is a "snappily directed" (Time), "bouncy good time" (The Boston Globe) and a party that goes on and on!Bill (Winter) and Ted (Reeves) have spent so much time forming their rock band, The Wyld Stallyns, that they're flunking history. Whoa, duuuude! And when Ted's dad threatens to send him away to military school, Bill and Ted realize it could mean the most heinous end of The Stallyns! Luckily, a guardian angel from the future, Rufus (Carlin), has come to them with a most bodacious solution: a time-traversing phone booth to take them into the past to learn about the world from some of history's most influential personalities. Their journey through time turns out to be a blast but will they learn enough to pass their class?« less
"Here's a whoppin' good adventure comedy that succeeds bedause it so unabashedly pushes the limits and risks absurdity. A couple of high school students are so clueless that when asked who Joan of Arc was, one replies "Noah's wife?". But this title pair are about to embark on a life-changing adventure! Suddenly they meet a strange dude with a telephone booth altered into a time-machine! What a concept of how to build a time-machine! I wondered if they thought about how we're living in a time when phone booths have become a rarity? How it won't be long, if things continue on their present course, until you couldn't make a time-machine out of a phone booth until you first used another time-machine to go back in time and get a phone booth? Well it's an interesting twist, whether intentional or not! Once back in time, the title characters transport several historical figures to the present, and thereby change their world. One of those figures is the very Joan of Arc they shortly before didn't know from Noah's wife! I found it most uncanny what historical figures they were able to bring back to the present, including no less that three that were me in former lives! They got it pretty right about Genghis Khan! I'm sure I would really really have liked twinkies when I was he! The part about Billy-the-kid they stretch a bit, even addressing him as "Mr. the Kid". Now no one really ever addressed me that way in my former life as Billy-the-Kid, but what a neat concept! Now some things of the present get streched just a bit too. For example, Bill and Ted get themselves out of one bind by use of a programmable audio tape player, programming it to play a certain message on the following afternoon. Now who's ever heard of that? Time-machines have become a familiar thing, at least in movies. But programmable audio tape players? Not even any video recorder that I know of can be programmed to play at a certain time; programming applies only to recording. Much less have I even imagined an audio tape machine programmable as to either recording or playing. So the movie does employ a few unrealistic devices. But it employs them most cleverly and hilariously!"
Utterly bodacious !
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 09/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is brilliant, and has inspired many imitations, but none come close to this unique, goofy comedy that reminds me more of the silent screen gems than of what has passed for funny in recent years.The pairing of Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves was a stroke of genius...they work so well together, and are so convincing as naive airheads that some people, DUH ! actually believe this is what these marvelous actors are like in real life..NOT ! This is great acting, folks. Wonderfully written, the premise is hilarious and all the characters so perfectly cast. I love Al Leong as Genghis Khan. His antics in the mall never fail to make me roar with laughter..."we've got a live one !".With every viewing, I see more details to amuse me...and it has an endearing, sweet spirit that warms my heart...and always remember: "Be excellent to each other !"."
It's About Time
Gord Wilson | Bellingham, WA USA | 03/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Someone already made the point that Amazon's official reviewers often seem entirely out of step with their hordes of unofficial ones. This movie is a great example. It deftly avoids pitfalls that sink other films and does so seemingly effortlessly. It gains so much in sublety that it falls beneath the Hollywood radar of critical acclaim.
First, here's a film that delves into the real entanglements of time travel, but unlike Back to the Future, keeps it light. George Carlin plays himself, a burnt out hippie in the role of enlightened visitor from the future. Like Jeff Goldblum, he always plays himself, only the scenery changes-- check him out as the priest in Dogma (which is not at all a family film). Keanu Reeves does a great job in this film which, if it falls in the Doofus Duo genre, is at least as good as the Wayne's World and Dumb and Dumber films.
It's also cleaner. Anyone can write a dirty joke; try writing a clean one. This movie is full of them. Chesterton said it's harder to write a joke than a sermon. Obviously that's why there are so many (bad) sermons. This film succeeds with both good-natured humor and the light-hearted message of "Be excellent to each other." Has the Golden Rule ever been put better?
Why is this film so much better than its sequel, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, which has an excellent if unrealized story line? Because all the special FX budget was spent on the "hell" sequence in that film, which bogs down the rest of the picture. There's a most excellent line of comic books that accompany the Bill and Ted saga, by the same artist who did Milk and Cheese. The story arc is both humorous and gripping. This is one of the few properties that really could deliver a few sequels and works well as an animated series. I join hundreds of reviewers who love this film in recommending this most excellent DVD."
McHenry John | McHenry, Illinois United States | 10/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bill & Ted are flunking history class. If they don't pass their final exam, they will never form their band "Wyld Stallions". Along comes Rufus, a man from the future, who gives them a time machine, so they can gather people from the past to give an oral report at the school. A crazy adventure with lots of laughs. Recommended."
Timeless, Optimistic and Brilliant, Dude
brian tunick | west new york, nj United States | 02/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For starters, the Amazon review of this all-time classic is downright unfair. 17 years later (can those of you in your 30's believe this was 17 years ago?) Bill and Ted's still pulls a good audience as a TBS Sunday movie. We'll see if anybody remembers Marshall Fine in 17 years.
Both Bill and Ted's movies are warm, funny, witty and extremely optimistic fantasies. By no means am I the type to be offended by sex, drugs or violence (see my 4-star review of Hostel) but it is extremely difficult to think of a highly-successful comedy that didn't need any of the above. Only the most conservative of parents would hesitate to allow a 5-year-old to view this movie, and to be fair, there are a lot of lessons a child could learn from Bill and Ted. On the surface, a movie about airhead (and if made today, stoner) rock and roll loving high-school students, there is a lot more to Bill and Ted's. The movie is about friendship and accomplishment against difficult odds. It's about trying to succeed against insurmountable obstacles. If it's possible to fix a time machine with bubble gum, maybe it is possible to become the greatest rock band of all time without talent. And if not, it still makes for a great 2 hours that still leaves me smiling after countless viewings.
If somehow you haven't seen Bill and Ted's, I can't recommend the film highly enough. A list of influential and creative films of modern times would be incomplete without it. "