"Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" (citywide) is cultural arbiter Allan Bloom's worst nightmare come to horrifying cinematic life. It's a rock 'n' roll time-travel comedy in which two high-school dimwits with no discernible blips on the brain-wave chart act as the 20th Century's emissaries to some of the great figures of history. And it's no meeting of the minds.
Bill and Ted, played with blank, imbecilic enthusiasm by Keanu Reeves ("River's Edge") and Alex Winter, are interchangeable in their personality quirks and their willful ignorance. Both of them are sad clones of a movie character: Jeff Spiccoli, sketched so spookily by Sean Penn in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Bill and Ted differ from Spiccoli, their "stoner" predecessor, only in that there are no drug references here to account for their allegedly jocular lack of ambition or interest in education or self-improvement.
The day before they're to be expelled, the two are thrust by a futuristic visitor (George Carlin) into a time vortex, allowing them to kidnap eight of the more important figures of Western Civilization for an all-important history-class oral report.
Bill and Ted convince Lincoln, Beethoven, Joan of Arc, Freud, Socrates, et al. to stop being so stuffy and high-minded and just loosen up, dudes, 1989 California-style.