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Dude, Where's My Car

Well, maybe not four stars, but the title alone deserves serious kudos. Unfortunately, the major praise stops there. Resurrecting the ghosts of Bill and Ted for the contemporary teen set, two stoners try to reconstruct what exactly happened after a wild night of partying.


Jesse and Chester (Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott) wake up with no memory of their wild antics the night before: ''Boy, we were so wasted!'' Walking out their front door, they discover an empty space: ''Dude, where's my car?'' So begins the odyssey that is piecing together the strange events of the night before and finding their vehicle so that they can a) retrieve the anniversary gifts they bought for their twin girlfriends, b) make peace for destroying their house, and quite possibly, c) save the universe.


Clueless, energetic and amiable, Kutcher (''That '70s Show'') and Scott (''American Pie,'' ''Road Trip'') are charismatic and fun as the dopey duo. They have some good onscreen chemistry, work hard to keep their spirits high and are clearly having fun. Kutcher has a definite future on the big screen, and if his choices remain consistent, Scott might go down in film history as the only actor to have a stoned dog in almost every one of his movies. Also to liven things up, there are some amusing cameos by Brent Spiner, Andy Dick, Kristy Swanson and a flock of ostriches.


Clearly students of ''Fast Times at Ridgemont High,'' ''Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure,'' ''The Big Lebowski,'' ''Galaxy Quest,'' ''Revenge of the Nerds,'' ''Monty Python and the Holy Grail,'' ''The Pink Panther,'' ''Jurassic Park,'' ''Men in Black,'' and ''Attack of the 50 Foot Woman,'' screenwriter Philip Stark and director Danny Leiner manage to throw in one or two original ideas amid the good-natured fun and chaos. Honorable mention goes to Leiner for never actually showing our two heroes lighting up or dropping anything psychedelic during the course of the film.

Bottom line

Best if seen with a packed house of rioting teens, ''Dude'' is destined to be one of those throw away movies that wasn't so funny when you saw it but sure seemed a lot funnier in retrospect.