director Pete Hewitt
A couple weeks back, the kids and I revisited Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), which turned out to be one of their most enjoyed movies in some time. So, of course, I thought we might as well queue up the sequel, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, even though I recalled that it didn’t quite hold up to the original’s meager charms.
I was probably a bit old for the first Bill and Ted when it came out. But I did go see Bogus Journey on its release. By this time, Keanu Reeves was becoming a star and Alex Winter was ebbing into obscurity. And the film seemed less interesting…
But watching with the kids, I found the original more fun that I had found it before. Like a lot of things, I find that I enjoy them even more with my kids than on my own, so I was up for a reassessment of the sequel.
But Bogus Journey is no Excellent Adventure. It begins promisingly enough with evil Bill and Ted robots sent from the future to kill Bill and Ted. The robots are pretty funny, calling one another “evil Bill” and “evil Ted”. But the metaphysical journey that sends Bill and Ted into the afterlife, to both heaven and hell, hanging with Death himself, and notably playing Battleship, Twister, and Clue in a parody of Ingmar Bergman’s classic The Seventh Seal (1957), is funnier in concept than in execution.
Actually, I think we all three agreed that the best scene in the movie is when Ted’s dad (played superbly by Hal Landon Jr.) becomes possessed by his son and shouts out, “I totally possessed my dad!”
The kids enjoyed it, though. Maybe not as much as the first one, but still. I decided that we might just have to watch The Seventh Seal at some point too.