cblaze’s review published on Letterboxd:
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey is a superior sequel to the original because it has a strong conflict that carries throughout the story. There are consequences and time tables firmly established and adhered to in order to keep the film moving and give weight to the jokes.
The sequel also adds a formidable straight man into the mix, in the form of William Sadler's scene stealing performance as Death - or the Grim Reaper Dude. Bill & Ted playing games with Death to win back their souls is one of my favorite comedic scenes in the 90's. It's truly ridiculous.
Keanu and Alex are still perfect as Bill and Ted and Evil Bill and Evil Ted... The foxy Pam Grier also gets a small role in the film which I completely forgot about - but was very happy to see her this rewatch. George Carlin gives more a cameo than anything - but gives a bit more life into the delivery of his role.
The jokes in this film are better written and land much cleaner - with less emphasis on how dumb our leads are and more a reflection on their optimistic views of the world. The direction and effects were very well done and gave a fun energy to the film. Given that this was released 2-years after the first (including distribution delays) - it's an incredibly well put together film as a whole.
The bad guy was probably the weakest link - his plot didn't make much sense. I get wanting to reform society in his image - but he's going about it with 11th hour shenanigans... You got time travel on your side - give yourself more time! Also, pro-tip don't lure the heroes to the place where they succeed - lead them away from the place they need to be...
My grandmother actually took me out to see this film. It was weird since it was my grandma who picked the film, and I wasn't exactly a fan of the first film back then. Yet, her love of movies really helped influence my love of movies. So, this film will always have a little place in my heart as one of those special memories. Also, this released in 1991 - it's weird thinking just a few months after this film Nirvana broke and changed the musical landscape forever. Bill & Ted being such hair metal fans - I can't help but wonder if a sequel was made back then what it would've been like.
Anyway, the sequel is a better film and just as much of a classic as the original.