Dave’s 3-Word Review:
It’s bogus, alright.
I consider myself to be a fan of the Bill & Ted series because it hasn’t ever attempted to be anything other than a bogus and random comedy. It’s clearly slapstick, if even partially self-aware. It knows what it’s doing, so I still find it very funny and the roots of where these actors really came from. The first film is the best, as always, but I have some issues with sequel, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. I believe there are some strong points here and there, but I think it definitely faltered in other areas; areas that are just too important to ignore.
In the second film, Bill and Ted encounter futuristic robot replicas of themselves that were created to stop Bill and Ted from becoming famous and altering the course of history. Very much Terminator-ish. Anyways, these robots end up assuming their lives after they kill the real Bill and Ted, so the guys have to travel through Heaven and Hell, battling the Grim Reaper in order to return to their mortal lives and set things straight.
I should probably start with what I did like about the movie. I absolutely loved the bad guys from the future, and their very subtle intentions. Yeah, they want to kill Bill and Ted, but just listen to the reason why. They want to change the future into something believable, and filled with order and reason – and they are seen as the bad guys. I love it, because that is so entirely self-aware. It might even be the most brilliant part of the film – it was just ignored a little too much in the film to focus on our two heroes. I also kind of like the fact that they were sent to Heaven and Hell. I like it because it’s not just copying off the first film, and it’s still an over-the-top adventure with two idiots – and that always has a funny way of blending together.
On the other hand, going to Heaven and Hell gave the film a little too much of a religious tone than what feels natural for the film. People may watch this and feel like they changed too many things, and that they should have just kept to what they knew. Travel through time some more, yatta yatta. While I would have liked to see more time travel, I more or less disagree with them. It was a smart move to do something different and over-the-top, but it wasn’t so smart to go to Hell and kill these guys. That’s a little bleak for a comedy such as this, which doesn’t feel natural with dark humor.
I think my biggest concern has something to do with how crowded the movie actually felt. You have the bad robots, you have heaven and hell, you have the Grim Reaper, etc. The funny thing is, I didn’t mind each of these elements on their own – I think it could have been a great film if it just focused on one of those subjects – but all of them together felt a bit too crowded and jumbled. Beyond that, I had an issue with the surfer accents and personalities this time. The “dudes!” and “most excellent” adjectives used throughout the film felt a bit forced this time – as if trying to push the humor. It didn’t work as well, sorry.
It’s cool to see Bill & Ted in whatever environment they’re in, honestly. They have good chemistry and the adventures they go on together are always pretty funny.
This film just felt too crowded and had a weird tone to it, like dark humor. This series is totally slapstick, the dark stuff was just too weird.