Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Movie Review: Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey

Stars: 1 out of 5
Pros: The first 20 minutes show some promise
Cons: The rest of the film is painful to watch
The Bottom Line
Run run run run run
Can't say it strongly enough
Run run run run run




Any Enjoyment of This Movie is Purely Bogus

I started paying attention to media during the very late 80’s and early 90’s.  As a result, I had heard of the Bill and Ted movies and the conventional wisdom that Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey was just plain painfully awful.  But since I enjoyed the first movie last month, I decided to give the sequel a shot.  After all, I could borrow it from my library for free.

I should have listened to all those people telling me what a bad movie it was because even at free I overpaid for it.

It’s been a couple of years since we last saw Bill and Ted (Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves).  They’ve moved out on their own and have just proposed to the princesses (Annette Azcuy and Sarah Trigger), but their music isn’t going anywhere.  Of course, there’s a good reason for it – they still don’t know how to play so they are still awful.  The upcoming battle of the bands might be their last chance to make it big.

But someone from the future (Joss Ackland) doesn’t want them to succeed.  Seems they don’t like the utopia built upon their music, so he creates robot doubles of Bill and Ted and sends them back in time with one mission – to kill our heroes.  And they succeed.  Now Bill and Ted will have to outwit Death (William Sadler) to return to life and save the princesses.  Can they do it?

So far, I’ve covered roughly the first 20 minutes of the film, and this part was very enjoyable.  I was laughing and began to relax, thinking that maybe all the comments I’d heard about the film were off base.

And then Bill and Ted died.

What was a fun movie suddenly took a turn for the painful.  Now, I knew from the outset I needed to leave my theology at the door, and I feel I did that.  I took their portrayal of Death, Heaven, and Hell as what it was meant to be.  After all, this is a comedy, right?

Right?

I ask because I stopped laughing.  Frankly, I can’t quite place my finger on what went wrong.  I mean, Bill and Ted are still their goofy, stupid selves.  But somehow, expressions of “Dude,” “Excellent,” and “Bogus” punctuated by air guitar riffs just didn’t seem funny anymore.  Instead, it was bordering on the embarrassment humor I find painful to watch.  Even then, it wasn’t that I was embarrassed for Bill and Ted.  I was just cringing at the punch lines instead of laughing.

I will give the actors this – they try.  The performances are all okay, and even as the plot gets more ludicrous (and yes, that is possible), they attempt to keep things believable.  They just have poor material to work with.

While the movie came out in 1991, it is still a product of the 80’s when it comes to styles and music.  The special effects are likewise decent enough, although by today’s standards they are dated.

The end credits roll over some fake headlines that are quite funny, but they aren’t worth the time I spent watching the film to enjoy.

I cannot recommend skipping this movie strongly enough.  Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey is an experience I would only wish on my worst enemy, but it’s probably been banned as torture.

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