To celebrate its 25th birthday, Bill and Ted’s first and most excellent adventure has been released on Blu Ray.
It tells the story of two Californian dudes who go back in time to gather up a group of historical figures to help them with their history report. If that sounds pretty stupid, well, it is, but it’s also tremendous fun.
Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter star as the dim duo. They are remarkably likeable and play well off each other. Helping them on their quest is stand up comedy god George Carlin, who really should have been in more films. It’s bizarre to see such a funny man play the straight character but he does it expertly and anchors the film.
The absurdity of the plot allows for some unforgettable moments, whether it’s Socrates and Billy the Kid (a fantastic pairing) trying to pick up girls in a mall, Genghis Khan pulling Abraham Lincoln into a telephone booth, or Napoleon Bonaparte becoming obsessed with water slides. The film knows how ridiculous it is and simply tries to entertain, which it does spectacularly.
Watching the picture this time round there was something I found mildly troubling, which is that most of the people they get to help them with their school work will, as a matter of factual record, die horrible deaths once delivered back home. Lincoln would be shot, as would Billy the Kid, while his new best friend Socrates would be poisoned. Possibly the grimmest would be Joan of Arc, who while in California enjoyed aerobic dancing and would be burned to death at the age of nineteen. I guess you can’t blame Bill and Ted for not warning them, they were never very good at history.
This 25th Anniversary Blu Ray doesn’t feature any interviews with Reeves or Winter, which is a little disappointing. A conversation with the writers is quite interesting but other features, such as one where a guy talks about how he scored the sequel, don’t add much at all. The Blu Ray looks pretty decent but this first Bill and Ted wasn’t ever the best looking film; the second (Bogus Journey) is far more colourful.
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a fun silly ride. I can’t believe it is twenty five years old but it’s aged well, mainly due to how likeable the two leads are. I do hope there isn’t a third one though. They were characters of their time and to bring them back would take away some of the charm. Although it would of course be good for Alex Winter, who really needs the work.
**** 1/2 Stars (out of 5)
Adventure, Comedy, Sci-fi
BD Release Date:
17th March 2014 (UK)
Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin,
Buy:Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure (25th Anniversary Steelbook Edition) [Blu-ray]