Let’s warm you up for the threequel, dudes.
The long-awaited sequel “Bill & Ted Face the Music” will premiere online starting August 28. It sucks it can’t come to theaters, given the COVID-19 crisis, but we should at least be lucky it’s coming out at all. That and AMC Theaters are slowly starting to open up with new procedures: masks, cleaning, 6-feet-apart rule, etc.
So, to warm you up for that threequel, I want to share with you my reviews of the first two movies that have resonated with time travel fans for the past two decades: “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey” with Keanu Reeves as Ted “Theodore” Logan and Alex Winter as Bill S. Preston, Esq. For those of you who haven’t seen the movies, you’ll find out there’s more than meets the eye within these two iconic characters.
In the one that started it all, “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” Bill and Ted both have rock dreams (the Wild Stallyns as they call themselves) that are threatened when their teacher (Bernie Casey) warns them that if they don’t pass their next history assignment, they flunk the course. But then, the late George Carlin as Rufus travels from the future to introduce them to a phone booth that will take them anywhere they want to go in time.
So, they go back in time to pick up historical figures like Socrates, Billy the Kid, and Sigmund Freud to use them for their reports, and they end up in one misadventure after another.
The first movie is hilarious when these dudes thrive on any situation that comes across them, and how they interact with the historical figures. You get Napoleon Bonaparte eating ice cream and riding on water slides, Abraham Lincoln getting his photo taken with an employee thinking he stole the picture hat, and Ludwig van Beethoven performing rock music. And when you’re introduced to Reeves and Winter’s iconic characters, it’s enough to keep you rocking on and laughing out loud at the same time.
And in the 1991 sequel, “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey,” a villain (Joss Ackland) sends evil Bill & Ted robots to the past to destroy the good dudes, who are in the middle of preparing for a Battle of the Bands concert. They finds themselves faced with Death (William Sadler), who takes them from Hell to Heaven to find a way to duel their evil selves.
This one wasn’t as fresh as the first, because of how lackluster some of its scenes were, but there were enough laughs and fresh visuals to make it worthy. I was most impressed with the colorful outfits the futuristic students wear in the opening shot, and the Hell sequences, including rooms that are either blue or pink. There are also little puppet-like aliens called “Stations,” who look like creatures from “The Dark Crystal” or “Fragglerock.” And let’s not forget how witty Sadler is as the Grim Reaper with his attempts to beat Bill & Ted at board games and how he adapts to their dialogue and comical behaviors.
We all could use a warm up for “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” which, again, streams this Friday, and both these movies prove that these guys are stupid. They’re just dudes with big dreams and ambitions, and they’re able to adapt to their surroundings. Kudos to Reeves and Winters for both delivering the goods to their characters with their dialogue and attitudes.
“Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
“Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey” ⭐️⭐️⭐️