Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is the 181st episode of Screen Junkies comedy series Honest Trailers. It was written by Spencer Gilbert, Joe Starr, Dan Murrell and Andy Signore. It was narrated by Jon Bailey as Epic Voice Guy. It parodies the 1989 sci-fi comedy film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. It was published on January 13, 2017, as part of Screen Junkies' Fan Appreciation Month. It is 3 minutes 58 seconds long. It has been viewed over 2.2 million times.
"Join their epic adventure through history -- all to pass a final exam -- where, instead of using a time machine to help with their studying, they'll use it to violently abduct historical figures like a game of human Pokémon." ~ Honest Trailers - Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Before Wayne and Garth (Wayne's World), Harry and Lloyd (Dumb and Dumber), Ashton and, eh...Stifler? (Dude, Where's My Car)...one film would bring something original to the "two dumb guys being dumb" genre: time travel.
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Meet Bill and Ted, a couple of valley boys who hang out together, rock out together (shows clips of Bill and Ted playing air guitar), and say the exact same words together (shows clips of Bill and Ted speaking in unison). They may not be smart, but they've got a message of love for all mankind: be excellent to each other, just...not in a gay way.
(shows Bill and Ted pulling apart after hugging)
Bill, Ted: Fag.
Uhhh, yeah, totally forgot about that one. Moving on.
Sit back and say "whoa!" at star Keanu Reeves, who looks exactly like he did in the '80s (shows clips comparing present-day Keanu Reeves with his appearance in Bill & Ted) -- and maybe so does Alex Winter? I dunno (shows a clip of Alex Winter in the film beside text reading "Footage Not Found") -- as Keanu debuts the dumb surfer character he would spend his entire career trying to get away from...
Johnny Utah (in Point Break): You trying to tell me the FBI is going to pay me to learn to surf?
Neo (in The Matrix): Whoa.
Any time now. (shows John Wick shooting numerous attackers) There it is. Nice, dude.
Join their epic adventure through history -- all to pass a final exam -- where, instead of using a time machine to help with their studying, they'll use it to violently abduct historical figures like a game of human Pokémon and ensure a future where they become our dystopian god emperors. What, you believed George Carlin when he said it was a paradise? Everyone lives in a cave and barely speaks. Wake up, sheeple. They're just like evil Biff in Back to the Future II.
Chill out for the rare time travel story that doesn't get all hung up on that boring paradox stuff (Ted: We can't forget to do this; otherwise, it won't happen. But it did happen!), and enjoy a lighthearted romp that's like Donnie Darko with fart jokes (shows Billy the Kid farting loudly in an outhouse), Looper with keyboard solos (shows Beethoven playing two synthesizers at once). It's like Back to the Future with mommy issues (shows teenage Lorraine kissing Marty McFly in Back to the Future)...ummm, more mommy issues?
Ted (as Bill stares at Missy): It's your mom, dude.
Billy the Kid (as the time machine lands near Missy): She's cute.
Ted: It's his mom, dude.
Bill (to Sigmund Freud): Just got a minor Oedipal complex.
So take a wild ride through time in this cult classic full of classic lines, classic CGI, and classic historical figures you remember way more clearly than whatever you were taught in history class, like how this dictator (Napoleon) loved ice cream and water slides, this violent criminal (Billy the Kid) was a real ladies' man, and the biggest mass murderer in human history (Genghis Khan) was absolutely adorable. (shows Genghis Khan bouncing off a trampoline, flipping over a mall cop, and landing on a moving skateboard) Awww, look at the little guy go. He killed more people than Hitler.
Starring Bill S. Preston, Esquire? Wait, How Is This Dude a Lawyer? (Alex Winter as Bill Preston); Doctor Whoa! (Keanu Reeves as Ted Logan); Way Ahead of His Time (George Carlin as Rufus); and An American TARDIS (the phone booth time machine).Duh and Duhher
(shows the Wyld Stallyns clumsily practicing) Three lead guitar players, no bass, no vocals? Guys, I think the Wyld Stallyns might've always sucked.
- For Fan Appreciation Month, Screen Junkies ran a poll where viewers got to decide which films they would make Honest Trailers for during January, 2017. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure got the 5th highest number of votes.
- Screen Junkies have also produced Honest Trailers for several other Keanu Reeves films including The Matrix, Point Break, John Wick and Speed.
- Screen Junkies have also produced Honest Trailers for many more awesome 1980s movies including Ghostbusters, The Princess Bride, Die Hard, Labyrinth, Predator, Robocop, Top Gun, Batman (1989) and many more. See list of Honest Trailers for more.
- An Honest Trailer Commentary for this episode was recorded and was available on the Screen Junkies Plus until the website/app was discontinued. Screen Junkies don't currently have any way of releasing the video.
Honest Trailers - Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure has a 97.5% approval rating from YouTube viewers. CinemaBlend described the Honest Trailer as a "loving takedown," but also said it was "way too mean, even if it's right." CinemaBlend also agreed "Rufus' phone booth totally IS a thinly veiled copy of the TARDIS from Doctor Who. It's hard to believe that it took almost 30 years for someone to call out Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure on that fact. Despite the extremely American look, the film really does feel like a Doctor Who episode with less drama, and a lot more comedy."
Many media sites commented on how Screen Junkies handled the gay slur in the film. Uproxx noted that although the film "is treated in largely loving fashion" by Screen Junkies, the film was due "some necessary nitpicking about the weaker elements of the movie. (For example, gay panic gags weren’t cute in 1989 and they sure as hell don’t look any better in 2017.)" Slash Film made a similar remark, writing that the gay slur is "more than awkward to see play out by today’s social standards, but it was the 1980s, and we were just ignorant back then." Indie Wire also found the Honest Trailer notable for putting emphasis on "the way the film portrays the gay panic of the time and its use of anti-gay slurs, something that would definitely not fly on the big screen in today’s world."
Production credits Edit
Voiceover Narration by Jon Bailey
Title design by Robert Holtby
Executive Producer - Andy Signore
Edited by TJ Nordaker & Bruce Guido
- This Bill & Ted Honest Trailer Is Way Too Mean, Even If It’s Right - CinemaBlend article
- The Time Has Come To Get ‘Honest’ About ‘Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ - Uproxx article
- ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ Honest Trailer: A Game of Human Pokémon - SlashFilm article
- ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ Honest Trailer Pokes Fun at the Iconic Surfer Bros - Indie Wire article
- Honest Trailer for BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE - Geek Tyrant article