Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure ★★★½

One of the greatest, if not the best, onscreen friendships in film history? It's fairly remarkable, in many ways, that the performances are so distinctive when almost every other element is generic Saturday morning TV narrative rhythms and tropes. It's a testament to Reeves and Winters' abilities that they could fashion performances so intelligently at odds with the utterly familiar, at once elevating the film as well as allowing it to step far beyond the conceits it deploys in their knowing unknowing. The unknowing pushes this best, for it's there that one finds the characters' in most unprecedented displays of grief, philosophising, and hand-on-chest declaration. Each produces a dissonance, for the characters are presented fully detached from the rhythms and emotional tenor of the majority of scenes. Yet, the dissonance is used less to provide the dissolution of narratives and much more to supplement the provision of micro-narratives and a meta-narrative as such (the film is, after all, a self-aware presentation of the "heroes' journeys" format as such—what else is Bill and Ted's suit of armour Star Wars sword fight but this?). There's no true suspicion here, only embrace: the arc of history bends towards excellence in all times and places.

Note:
— Weird that between this and Point Break the Wachowskis made The Matrix a sort of cliff notes of the ideas and scenes from Reeves career. There's the obvious, Socratic "know thyself"/"know that you know nothing" philosophy, but also Neo's running around cubicles from agents is an expansion of the scene with Bill and Ted running around the latter's father's police station.

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