In case you missed it, Keanu Reeves is popping up everywhere right now. Errrywhere, y’all. For this Keanu Reeves fangirl, it was time to jump into the phone booth again, travel back in time to 1989, and see if Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure holds up in 2019. My answer: Whoa. (Affiliate links included in this post)
Have you heard about the Keanussance we’re living through right now? It’s true- he’s kinda going through a revival of sorts. Yeah, I know, he’s always been around, but he’s hitting that mainstream stride again.
John Wick 3 is killing it at the box office (killing it- get it?), Keanu has a hilarious cameo in the Ali Wong Netflix movie, Always Be My Maybe, and he’s going to make you a believer in all things Canada again in Toy Story 4 as Duke Caboom.
While I was obsessing over the #KeanuReeves hashtag on Twitter the other day, it came to my attention that June 9th was Bill & Ted’s Day. You know- the day they must present in front of the class in order to pass history.
I was doing nothing on June 9th (legit- nothing!), so I pulled up Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. I just hoped my 8th-grade self wasn’t totally lying to me about how funny this movie was.
Does Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure Hold Up? A Review in 2019
First of all, if you want to check this one out you can find it on Amazon or maybe your cable provider has it on demand (mine did).
And if you are old like me, you might want to consider this a Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure parent movie review before you let the kids watch it. Cause it was the late 80s and things were very different back then!
About Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
This one came out in 1989 and it’s pretty, well, typical of 1989. The clothes, the hair, the music, and the language will transport you back to the sweet spot between heavy metal and grunge.
Before Wayne & Garth, before Beavis & Butthead- we had the originals with Bill & Ted.
2 slackers (Keanu Reeves & Alex Winter) are faced with flunking history, which in turn would separate them and ruin their chances of launching a band together. Nevermind that neither can play an instrument, Wyld Stallions is going to ROCK! A mysterious dude from the future (George Carlin) realizes that it just can’t play out like this, and helps guide the two teens toward their destiny.
A phone booth, some Yellow Pages (yup, YELLOW. PAGES. Y’ALL), historical figures and a few babes later… and you have Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
Run Time: 90 minutes
Is Bill & Ted’s Still Funny in 2019?
I had my doubts. Since I was just a kid in 1989, I knew my 8th-grade judgment could be off- way off– when trying to decide if this movie was funny. I remember thinking Better Off Dead was hilarious. Don’t @ me- it’s terrible.
Y’all: I’m happy to report that Bill & Ted’s was and still is funny. This is one of the (mostly) good ones that you can relive with your family- with a few caveats.
What Parents Need To Know About Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Remember: this was 1989. Long ago and in a generation far, far away.
- Jokes about Bill’s step-mom being hot could be inappropriate for younger children. She’s his mom now but was in their high school just the year before. It’s kinda gross.
- Bill & Ted and Bill & Ted (future) favorite number is 69- and while there’s no reference to why, adults know why and some kids might too, and well… there you go. Have fun explaining that one!
- Generous (but not too generous) use of colorful language including crap, dickweed, dick, etc.
- They are teens and when they go back in time to the wild west, they order beers and you see Bill smoking at one point.
- The love interests are called Babes the whole time- eh. I mean, there are more things to worry about here than that one.
- Creepy Napoleon picks up and carries kids around during the waterslide scene. Eww- and where are those kids’ parents?!
- The most cringe-worthy moment for me was when the guys hug, then push each other away and say, “Fag” to each other. As Ted is fond of saying: WHOA. Nope, nope, and all the nope to that phrase in 2019.
- In the end, Billy The Kid shoots a spotlight out with a real gun. IN SCHOOL. Clearly- this is a nope.
- When the presentation is over, the whole school age audience gets their lighters out as if they are at a concert. Remember doing that, guys? I didn’t even smoke but had a concert lighter. Lighters, guys, in school. My daughter was super confused, “What- what are they DOING?” she asked.
The Keanussance Is Here: Embrace It
While we have no idea how long the Keanussance will last, I’m going to embrace it while I can!
I asked what your favorite Keanu Reeves movies are on Facebook and it was overwhelmingly this one. So give it another watch if it’s been a while, but listen to the podcast to hear my favorite Keanu movie.
Patty Holliday is a movie critic, writer, and podcaster living in the Washington, DC area. Her goal is to bridge the gap between casual fandom and picky critic with parent movie and television reviews.