Saturday, October 10, 2015

Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)

When I first heard about this film it was still called Bill and Ted go to Hell. I thought that was just a statement by a grumpy movie theater owner. Little did I know that Bill and Ted were coming back to the big screen for a sequel. Did anyone ask for this? Not that I’m aware of. But Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a lot of fun, so maybe this one will turn out Ok. Or maybe it will be bogus in more ways than one.

In the future where the rock group named Wyld Stallyns has achieved world peace and Bill Preston (Alex Winter) and Ted Logan (Keanu Reeves) are considered musical geniuses, things are most excellent. But the angry, bitter, and nefarious De Nomolos (Joss Ackland) hates the 24-hour Mtv music video that the world has become and hatches a scheme. He creates two robots that look just like Bill and Ted. He sends them back to the early 1990s to kill Bill and Ted and ruin their impact on society. Nothing can go wrong with his perfect plan.

Soon enough the evil robots from the future find and kill Bill and Ted! But the story doesn’t end there, because the Grim Reaper (William Sadler) arrives to take them. Bill and Ted manage to escape his clutches and begin a journey that takes them to the depths of hell, the heights of heaven and even facing an alien scientist called Station. Pam Grier, George Carlin and Amy Stock Poynton all join in the fun as our clueless heroes experience their most bogus of journeys.

Good Points:
  • Takes the fun premise of the original and goes in a new and unexpected direction
  • Sadler pretty much steals the show as the Grim Reaper who can’t catch a break
  • Stays fun and fast paced throughout

Bad Points:
  • Bill and Ted are pretty much the same doofuses we met in the first one
  • If you are looking for more fun with historical figures you’ll be disappointed
  • The ending is… well, it’s kind of a cheat actually

Bill and Ted’s adventure this time around is just a silly and fun as the previous one. In fact, in terms of creativity, it is actually more impressive. Having these two jokers interact with death, Satan and God is all pretty fun. But it is the Grim Reaper’s presence that really makes the film memorable. Up to the point where he shows up the film is less entertaining. But you can also tell that Winter and Reeves are having a lot of fun playing the evil (but very stupid) versions of themselves. The movie is bursting with fun visuals and crazy ideas, but it also feels less cohesive than the first one. I had a good time with it, but I like the Excellent Adventure a bit more.

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals: 4
Sound: 3
Acting: 3
Script: 4
Music: 3
Direction: 3
Entertainment: 3
Total:  3

Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.


  1. And those danged robots made better time with those medieval gals from the last movie. It’s bad enough that cars soon will take over driving from us…

    1. Yeah, but then the "evil robot us-es" end up without the girls, so it all works out (or doesn't work out if you are the robot) in the end.

  2. Comedy is such a funny animal (no pun intended). Generally speaking I'm not a huge fan of modern comedy films. (Oddly every time you make a generalization, you rethink yourself.) The last one I watched was a small independent film called Submarine. It was really good. Some may not consider it a comedy because some of those indies branch out and aren't concerned with the formula of set-up and punchline. But there were scenes in it that made me laugh out loud a time or two.

    I also watched some comedy on TV, but there again too, I'm picky. I did like Seinfeld, whereas some don't, but I'm not a sitcom guy at all. And then there are a lot of British comedies that I can watch. Boy, this is a roundabout comment :)

    I guess what I'm leading up to is probably Bill & Ted's brand of humor isn't for me, but probably more for the generation that grew during those years, however, you did a good job of reviewing it. I think the last thing I watched along this line was Idiocracy, and it was fun.

    A few others I've seen recently and enjoyed are Silver Lining Playbook, St. Vincent, and Kingsmen--not that all these fit neatly inside the genre.

    1. Yeah "Bill and Ted" may be a generational thing. My parents never got the appeal of the films, but most folks my age and a few years older or younger seem to enjoy them.

      I really like "Idiocracy". It is a much smarter and cynical movie than a lot of folks think it is. "Kingsmen" sounded intriguing. I'm looking forward to checking that one out.

      I'm not usually a sit-com guy either, but for some reason I find myself enjoying "Big Bang Theory" quite a bit. Fluffy but still has some very good writing and of course the geeky references.