Directed by Pete Hewitt
Bill and Ted must win the 4th Annual Battle of the Bands contest. If they do not their music will never reach the masses and they will never change the world.
Despite being destined to change the world, not much has really changed for Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves). They are still directionless slackers with no musical skill. They just are no longer at home. They know their destiny but have done nothing to make it happen other than stumble into the last spot in the Battle of the Bands because of implied pity from Ms. Wardroe (Pam Grier).
George Carlin made the most of Rufus here. Once again, his work is little more than a cameo that bookends the story. Yet his character is still strongly identified with these films. He did a lot with very little.
Rufus’s old gym teacher Chuck De Nomolos (Joss Ackland) is the chief baddie here. He and a group of followers seek to undo Bill and Ted and their accomplishments (shades of The Terminator?) and will replace them with evil robot duplicates that are just as stupid as their human counterparts to accomplish this goal.
The real scene stealer in this movie is Death. William Sadler showed some real comedic chops here. He delivers some of the funniest moments in the film. As originally presented Death is rather fearsome but as he’s continually bested in one way or another by Bill and Ted, he becomes befuddled. And he is kind of needy for approval even in a comedic way by the end of it all.
I actually like this one a little better than the original. I think the jokes are better and it definitely has better production values than the first film. As much as I enjoyed the first film it had all the production values of a nice-looking television movie. The film was not bad, but it was not the slickest of productions. I do not expect my comedy films to look as polished as a big budget drama but the original just was not as good looking as this film.
The look of the future is better defined in this movie. There is a specific style to the clothing, a look to the people and even the look of the technology is fleshed out. It is more like a world unto itself than a set with glitter.
More importantly they focus more on music here. Wyld Stallyns after all create music that changes the world and aside from some air guitar there really was not much music in the first film. Here the focus is the Battle of the Bands and in the opening scene we get Jim Martin from Faith No More. And we even get a theme song performed by KISS.
This is set up as the moment where Bill and Ted finally reach the world and defeat the bad guy. Yet to be honest not much happens at the Battle of the Bands climax. I love this movie but the ending just kind of happens. They use time travel imaginatively in order for Bill and Ted and Chuck De Nomolos to one up each other but as conflicts go there is not much there. The good Bill and Ted robots created by alien scientist Station punch the heads off of their evil counterparts and then it is the use of time travel by the victor to screw with the loser.
Overall Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is a genuinely entertaining and worthy sequel to the original. It ups the ante and fleshes the mythology out without altering. You get a few laughs and end it with a smile on your face. Pop it in and enjoy.