Vuk and I try to set aside one night a week for a double-feature movie date. Normally, he picks one movie, I pick the second movie, and we enjoy them back to back. After, I write this “Surf and Turf” review where I look at the merits of each movie individually and then discuss how they worked–or didn’t work–back to back.
This week’s a little different. Bill and Ted Face the Music was recently released , and Vuk was so excited to see it. Unfortunately, while I have seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, I hadn’t gotten around to seeing the second movie in the series. Rather than have him wait two weeks to see the new Bill and Ted movie, I agreed that he could pick both movies this week and I will pick both movies next week. So, rather than a Surf and Turf review, this week you’re getting a Turf and Turf review. (I’d call it Surf and Surf, but Vuk doesn’t really eat seafood).
Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey Review
The second movie in the Bill and Ted series takes place a few years after the first. Bill and Ted have graduated from high school and are getting ready to participate in the Battle of the Bands that’s supposed to launch them into fame. The movie’s antagonist is a man from the future who sends two Bill-and-Ted-shaped robots to kill the original Bill and Ted and take their place at the battle of the bands.
The robots succeed in killing Bill and Ted, and the boys literally have to fight their way through heaven and hell to make it back to the mortal realm, take on the robot versions of themselves, and perform in the battle of the bands.
Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey was just as campy as you’d expect after seeing the first film. The series draws on stupid humor to propel its plot. The writers went all-out with Bogus Journey, ensuring that …
Once you add God, Death, and aliens into a movie, it can either go really well or really, really wrong. Luckily, they nailed it, and the movie managed to be super funny and deliver a heartwarming message without ever taking itself too seriously (or any level of seriously at all, really).
Some of the best aspects of this movie include:
- Death. Just… all of him. He’s, by far, the funniest part of this movie.
- The realization that the alien is just a giant butt with two legs and a face.
- Learning that Bill and Ted have two very different ideas of hell.
- The Battle of the Bands, where the actual fight between Bill and Ted and Evil Bill and Ted just looks like an epic rock battle to the audience.
Overall, I’d give this movie a solid rating. It was enjoyable in a campy, dumb-movie way, but it’s in no way a high class movie.
Chosen By: Vuk
Would Have Paired Perfectly With: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Bill and Ted Face the Music Review
Face the Music takes place when Bill and Ted are grown men with teenagers of their own. They have not yet managed to write the song that will unite the world. They spend their time coming up with increasingly eclectic music in an attempt to fulfill their destiny.
Time anomalies are beginning to unravel the fabric of the universe, and people from the future try to force Bill and Ted to bring the prophecy to fruition before the entire universe comes undone. Of course, there are many ways to interpret prophecies, and not everyone in the future has the same understanding of how Bill and Ted bring about peace on Earth.
It’s no surprise when a skewed version of the prophecy ends up saving the day. While not entirely fresh, it was a solid follow-up movie. It’s honestly one of the better revamps I’ve seen in a long time, somehow offering a fresh, modern take on the series while also staying true to the original characters. While the plot was a little choppy, and Death didn’t have as big a role as I’d hoped, overall I was happy with how this movie finished the series off.
Chosen By: Vuk
Paired Perfectly With: Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey
3 Major Differences Between Bogus Journey and Face the Music
Normally, I take this time to rustle up 3 similarities between the movies Vuk and I chose. However, since this set of movies are in the same series, I thought it would make more sense to look at key differences between the movies and how the Bill and Ted series changed between Bogus Journey and Face the Music.
Introduction of Girl Power
Bill and Ted aren’t the only main characters in the third installment. Their teenage daughters take center stage, going back in time to collect musical geniuses from different eras while their dads try to write the perfect song.
In previous movies, girls–aka “babes”–have had minimal involvement in the storyline and were largely two-dimensional characters. Not so with Face the Music. Bill and Ted’s daughters have every bit as much relaxed attitude and charm as their dads, but theirs is tempered with an intelligence that we haven’t seen in other Bill and Ted characters–much less in the women.
Billie and Thea come out the gates strong in this movie, and only become better characters as the movie progresses. Their presence is symbolic of what all good parents hope for their children: that they represent the best parts of their family while being even better than the generation before.
A Little More PC
One of the things that is a little cringe-y when you watch the first two Bill and Ted movies is the frequent use of words like “fag,” which comes across especially tone-deaf when their main message is, “Be Excellent to Each Other.”
Of course, the original Bill and Ted movie is over 30 years old. While the movies largely hold up as funny, the lack of concern about certain language dates them quite a bit. It’s like being blasted back to a different time.
Face the Music stays true to the characters Bill and Ted, but that doesn’t mean they remain completely unchanged. Words like “heinous” and “awesome” stay key components of their vocabulary, but “fag” has fallen by the wayside.. and that’s a good thing. Because, ultimately, the Bill and Ted movies have always been about two guys who don’t have a lot of brains but do have a lot of heart. And in today’s day and age, that wouldn’t be believable in conjunction with hateful slurs.
The Absence of Rufus
Rufus, played by George Carlin, was a major character in the first two movies, and it would be impossible to do a review of their differences without mentioning his absence in the third film. Carlin died in 2008, making it impossible for him to appear in the third movie (other than a brief holographic tribute to the man).
Rufus’s daughter set out to honor her father’s memory by helping Bill and Ted along. The actress who played Rufus’s daughter did well in her role, but let’s be honest: there’s no way to replace Carlin on screen, and his absence was still felt in the movie.
Non-Heinous Double Movie Night
Overall, the double feature of Bogus Journey and Face the Music made for an enjoyable date night. If you’ve seen the first Bill and Ted movie and enjoy that kind of humor, you’ll probably like these two follow-up films. Though this is not necessarily my favorite type of movie, the writers knew what they were creating and they did a solid job within their world. Together, the two movies paired as well as Steak and Also Steak.
Overall Turf & Turf Rating: 9/10