Film (1989). Interscope Communications/Soisson-Murphey/De Laurentiis. Dir Stephen Herek, starring Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter and George Carlin. Screenplay Chris Matheson, Ed Solomon. 89 mins. Colour.
   Because the tranquillity of future life depends on the cultural changes brought about by a late-20th-century rock band, Wyld Stallyns, a TIME MACHINE is sent back to help the two teenaged future band-leaders pass their history test, thus ensuring their continuing partnership. The boys successfully collect Abraham Lincoln, Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, Napoleon, etc., to give colour to their history presentation. This charming, silly film, made by a relative newcomer who had previously directed CRITTERS (1986), does not strain for credibility, but within its own relaxed, adolescent terms is done with great conviction. The running joke is linguistic: the boys speak a Southern Californian argot, "Valley Speak", so that, for example, bad things are "heinous" and "egregious", good things "excellent" and "bodacious". Their innocence (and ignorance) enables them, with a simple "Party on, dudes", to survive perilous situations. There is a bodacious new twist on the TIME PARADOX, and a splendid scene where Napoleon discovers the joys of water slides.The sequel, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey (1991), dir Pete Hewitt but with the same screenwriters, has the two boys visiting Hell and Heaven and outwitting the Grim Reaper (William Sadler) and a megalomaniac leader (Joss Ackland). Though amusing, it lacks the freshness of its predecessor.
   See also: CINEMA.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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