Picks and Pans Review: Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
Maybe director Peter Hewitt or writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon thought to preempt the word by using it in the title. Sorry, dudes: This is a totally bogus sequel.
Slow and labored, as if everyone is struggling for ideas, the film brings back Reeves and Winter as neo-nerd teenagers who want to be rock stars but keep getting messed up with time travelers. In this case, a villain from the future wants them obliterated so that, in effect, they won't be able to waste people's time anymore. (While he's a vicious tyrant, he means well.)
There are many long transitional scenes, much clunky orchestral music and meandering about. The only creative bit is a scene—sending up Ingmar Bergman—where the boys, having been killed by the villain's agents, play a game with Death for a chance to live. The game isn't chess, though, and Death, after losing at Battleship, insists they play two out of three.
As the petulant Death, enterprising William Sadler (Die Hard 2's head terrorist) uses quirky twitches and grins to steal what there is of the picture from Reeves, whose main acting move is to nod vigorously, and the counter-charismatic Winter.
True, Matheson and Solomon, who collaborated on the original B&T script, saddle the two young actors with such exchanges as this, when the pair confronts the Devil in hell: "Who's that?" "Who do you think it is?" "Oh, yeah." End of scene.
That level of banality reigns. The punch lines mainly consist of Reeves and Winter striking attitudes or doing their air-guitar business. Sarah Trigger and Annette Azcuy, the boys' romantic interests, are all but ignored.
Nothing too offensive happens. And it only seems as if it takes three hours to get through. But the same could be said of long checkout lines at the supermarket, and they don't deserve to have cult followings either. (PC-13)