Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey
1991. 93 Minutes. Rated PG.
“You totally killed us, you evil metal dickweeds!”
My mother to this day still has not finished this movie. Much to the dismay of the theater usher in the Fall River Harbor Mall, my mother’s water broke mid-movie (let’s hope that once in a while they really clean those theater seats). Apparently, my younger brother was as excited to see this movie as I was. The sequel to the already reviewed Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure finds best friends, Bill S. Preston Esquire (Alex Winter) and Ted Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves) broke but happy. They’ve moved from their parents’ house to a small apartment and continue working with the English babes, Elizabeth (Annette Azcuy) and Joanna (Sarah Trigger) towards making the band Wyld Stallyns something that doesn’t sound like a car crash. They have been given the opportunity to play during the local Battle of the Bands, which will award the winner thousands of dollars in cash and a record deal. This could be the big break they have been waiting for.
Meanwhile, in the distant future, Rufus’ (George Carlin) evil mentor, De Nomolos (Joss Ackland) has built evil Bill and Ted robots. He hijacks the time traveling telephone booth to send them back to kill the real Bill and Ted before the Battle of the Bands. Bill and Ted, trusting visits from their future selves, willingly go into the desert with the robots and are pushed off a cliff. They must find a way back from the afterlife before evil Bill and Ted ruin their chances of being iconic leaders of the future. For Star Trek fans out there, Bill and Ted fall to their deaths on the same mountain as the classic William Shatner “Arena” episode they are watching in their apartment earlier that night. (-It’s in Alpha Dog too. Love, Peter)
The script is full of the same cheesy dialogue as the previous movie, but they know how to poke fun at themselves. For two friends who fulfill surfers or stoner stereotypes, they surprisingly have an extensive vocabulary. Words like resplendent, egregious, and atypical aren’t what you would expect to hear from these two. They also have a great use of the double negative, which this English major can appreciate, going so far as to say something is non-non-non-non heinous, which is actually really heinous. Other fun facts include the name De Nomolos is actually writer Ed Solomon’s name spelled backwards. Also during the Missy seance scene, starring the writers, Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson, they chant “Ed and Chris will rule the world” backwards.
The scenes from hell, ironically when my mother’s water broke, still haunt me today. Bill’s grandmother, Granny S. Preston Esquire, actually played by Bill, is a chilling nightmare that many of us had to experience first hand, the horror of family gatherings when you were a child (I still feel that way sometimes). Also, Ted’s Easter Bunny personal hell would make anyone sleep with one eye open if something like that came to visit you during the night.
These movies have a knack for funny, show-stealing minor characters, and Bogus Journey is full of more, such as Missy (Amy Stock-Poynton), Ted’s hot stepmom and Bill’s ex-stepmom, and the Grim Reaper (William Sadler), who happens to be a sore loser at playing games, and can also rap. Although, the angry Frenchmen Napoleon (Terry Camilleri) and his love of water slides was sorely missed from the previous movie.
Besides epic 80′s air guitar from Bill and Ted, Primus makes a special guest appearance as well as famous Steve Vai, who writes the end song, “God Gave Rock and Roll to You,” (which stays in my head for hours afterwards), and the Reaper Rap. Bogus Journey encapsulates a happier, more carefree time of the late 80s, especially the future clothing, which looks like something out of a Cindy Lauper Sims Game.
I’m sure a quantum physicist does not sit down and try to understand this movie. Time paradoxes are a plenty. If it is so convenient to say, “after we escape, we’re going to come back in time and get weapons to beat the bad guy” why not just travel back in time and not die in the first place? If I had a time traveling telephone booth that can, like a clown car, fit at least 6 people, I’d go back for fame and fortune, but these guys do a history report and learn how to play the guitar, which is why I’m OK with them being leaders of the future. Perhaps they could travel back in time and tell my mom to bring some paper towels to the theater.