1991 Comedy, rated PG, runs 1 hour, 34 minutes

Written by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon
Directed by Peter Hewitt (I guess Stephen Herek was insufficiently triumphant)

Major Cast
Keanu Reeves
Alex Winter
William Sadler
Supporting Cast
Annette Azcuy
Sarah Trigger
George Carlin
Joss Ackland

The DVD contains a ten-minute featurette and a theatrical trailer. Language choices are English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, all also available as subtitles.
How do you say bodacious in Portuguese?

C-Dawg says: Two Paws up

Let's look first at reasons you may not have seen this movie.

  1. Keanu Reeves is in it.
    Okay, I can't do anything about that. You're excused.
  2. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure was silly.
    Yes, it was -- but it was also modestly funny. Journey is silly, too, but much funnier. Unless you also thought that Adventure was incredibly stupid, I recommend you stick with us here.
  3. Keanu Reeves is in it.
    I thought you left. All you folks who won't watch a movie for that reason, do yourself a favor and leave. I happen to enjoy his work.

Okay, why you should watch.[1]

  1. The Truth about the Afterlife
    Find out what you really have to look forward to when you find yourself in Heaven or Hell.
  2. Bodacious or Heinous? Find out
    Will the future remain the bodacious one that Rufus knows and loves, or be twisted instead into a truly non-non-Heinous alternative?
  3. The Reaper Rap
    I guarantee[2] that you'll laugh when The Grim Reaper raps out this little ditty (and revealing it here won't spoil your enjoyment at all, because his performance is the thing):
    You might be a King
    Or a little street sweeper;
    But sooner or later,
    You'll dance with the Reaper

The Story

As the movie opens, we find ourselves in the future, as a class is about to start at Bill & Ted University. Rufus (George Carlin) enters as the professor, and from his opening remarks we learn that the entire society of the future is modelled on the philosophy of (bow your heads) Bill & Ted. Be Excellent to each other! But the class is disrupted by the entrance of DeNomolos and his armed hooligans. He seizes the time travelling phone booth, in which Rufus had arrived with Johann Sebastian Bach, and uses it to send two robots, identical in appearance to Bill and Ted, back in time to the present day; their task is to kill Bill and Ted, and perform terribly in their place in The Battle of The Bands, thereby altering the course of the future to one more suited to DeNomolos' tastes.

They do indeed quickly dispatch Bill and Ted, then head off to play with the Princess Babes while they wait for the Battle. Bill and Ted, looking at their bodies lying on the ground, notice the black-robed bald man with the Scythe, who informs them that he is there to take them to the afterlife. NO! We've gotta save the babes! It turns out there is a clause in the rules that will allow them to stay: they must challenge Death and win. After they spend some time in their own personal Hells, Death appears for the challenge. Not playing totally by the rules, Death, losing the first contest, changes the terms to "best two out of three", then three of five. Finally, having lost at Battleship, Clue, and Twister, he admits that he is defeated, and he is at their service.

They tell him that they need to find someone who can help them build "good robot us'es" to defeat the "evil robot us'es". Where can they find the smartest scientist ever? Death takes them to Heaven, where God allows the smartest scientist ever, a dead Martian, to return to Earth and help them. A big shopping spree at Builder's Emporium nets him everything he needs and the robots are manufactured in the back of the van as they drive to the Battle of the Bands.

They arrive just in time to see Wild Stallyns introduced. They interrupt to have the robots fight each other, the good us'es of course triumphant, meanwhile saving the babes who are tied to the rafters. As they're about to start their performance, DeNomolos arrives in the phone booth to do the job right. A few humorous turnabouts involving time travel ("after we win, we have to remember to go back and....", as in Adventure) take care of that situation, and Bill and Ted are ready to play. (Realizing they're terrible musicians, they take the phone booth and go off somewhere for a year and a half of intense music lessons (except for the two-week joint honeymoon in medieval England) and return a moment later.)

With Death and "the guy who can make one word mean anything" backing them up, they wow the crowd and ensure the continued existence of a bodacious future.

Some funny stuff

The ending credits roll while a succession of newspaper and magazine covers spin onto the screen, chronicling the world-shaping events surrounding the mega-success of (the now-augmented) Wild Stallyns. Do not turn off the movie! This is one of the funniest parts.

Everything William Sadler does in this movie, in the role of Death, is hilarious. Without his performance, this would be pretty much a recap of Adventure; with it, this is a case of the sequel being better than the original. In addition to his visual delivery of his lines, his accent (which I don't know how to describe) adds extra value, also.

  • (to God:) Sorry about this -- they melvined me
  • (in the hardware store, swinging a rake and comparing to his scythe) Baahh!
  • (to a coughing man with a cigarette) I'll see you real soon
  • (Bill, sighs) Best of seven?
    (Death) You're damned right!
  • (joining a game of Charades) Oh, oh! "Butch and Sundance: The Early Years"
    (Bill, dumbfounded) Death!
    (Death, abashed) Sorry
    There may be some reason of which I am unaware why that was a stupid thing to say, but it's funny anyway[3]

A humorous addition, totally irrelevant to the story, is that Missy (Amy Stock-Poynton), the young buxom stepmother to Bill in Adventure, has now divorced Bill's dad and married Ted's.

STATION!

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[1] That list is supposed to count down to 1; unfortunately, E2 doesn't allow the HTML attribute that would make that happen.

[2] Your payment for this review will be refunded if you don't.

[3] If you must know, the answer was Smokey and the Bandit III, guessed by Albert Einstein

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