Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Bill & Ted: Then & Now

It has been many years since Bill S. Preston and Ted Theodore Logan entered my life. 

I first came across the characters when I would visit a video shop which was local to me back in the late-1980s. I'd see the VHS case of the movie Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure lined up in the rows of films available to rent, but always passed on it.

Then - on Saturday mornings - the cartoon series based on the characters became something I would enjoy and that was what led to me to finally deciding to watch the movie.

Fortunately for me, the film was airing on Sky. Therefore, I was able to record it and watch it constantly to the annoyance of my parents.

A few years after that, the sequel - Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey - came out. I didn't wait until it was released on video. Nor did I hold on until it came on Sky TV. A friend and I went to the cinema to watch the film on its opening day.

Even though I enjoyed Bogus Journey, I cannot recall ever seeing other that day in early 1992.

When the third movie was in production, I thought I'd re-watch the first two with adult eyes before taking on Bill and Ted Face the Music. I ordered the two movies on DVD, but then decided to wait until part three was released before watching all three movies in order.

Bill and Ted Face the Music has now began airing on Sky Cinema, so I can finally do what was planned back in March 2019.

Here are my thoughts from my revisits of Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey along with my first impressions of Face the Music.

Bill & Ted's DVDs

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
I can't remember exactly when I last watched Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. However, I can safely state that it would have been sometime during the very early 1990s.

Watching the film, after all those years, was a fun experience. I came across scenes and sequences that I could recall as if I had recently viewed them.

As some of you know - the story goes like this: Bill and Ted are coasters who have to finish a school history project. If Ted fails, his father will send him to a military academy in Alaska. On the night before the project is due, the pair are visited by a man - Rufus - who travels to them from the future in a telephone booth. Bill and Ted then go on an adventure travelling to historic places and times to meet some of history's popular figures in order to bring them back to 1988 in order to assist in the school project.

The film concludes after Bill and Ted - along with their historical guests - perform a stage show in front of fellow pupils and their history teacher. Both Bill and Ted get passes for their effort.

The concept of this post is to point out some things that I noticed while watching the movie with adult eyes. The main thing I have to acknowledge is the younger version of me learnt a little bit about history just from watching this film. 

I didn't really notice it back then, but I do now.

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
In the sequel, an evil guy from the future (where Bill and Ted are like Gods with people studying them at universities etc) creates robotic, and evil, versions of Bill and Ted and head back to modern day USA to kill the real heroes and then ruin their chances of winning a Battle of the Bands. Doing so will change the course of history.

When the robots are able to kill Bill and Ted, the duo meet The Grim Reaper and have to play games like Battleship, Cluedo (Clue in America!) and Twister to win their freedom. By being victorious over Death, Bill and Ted gain the Reaper as an assistant.

As you'd expect, they win the Battle of the Bands in the end with the help of the Grim Reaper and other beings.

At the start, I mentioned not believing I've seen Bogus Journey since 1992. I still acknowledge this as a possibility, but there are little jokes in this movie that I remembered to the point I wonder whether I did see it multiple times as a child. I just cannot remember doing so, though!

The film isn't as good as the first. However, it is a fun and adequate sequel that certainly furthered the Bill and Ted story. 

Now it's time to see what the newest film has to offer all these years later.....

Bill & Ted Face The Music

Bill & Ted Face The Music

To be fair, I didn't HATE it. I just didn't love it.

In this one, Bill and Ted's daughters have a huge role. At the end of Bogus Journey, you see the children as babies. They're introduced as 'Bill' and 'Ted'. They were able to get around this potential continuity error by having the feminine name of Bill and 'Thea Theodora Logan', but she is mainly called 'Thea'.

There's a slight nod to the first movie with the girls travelling through history to collect famous names from the past. In this one, however, they find famous musicians to build a huge band in order to save their fathers' - and the world's - future.

While that is going on, Bill and Ted are travelling through time and meeting their older selves in the hunt for the song that is meant to save them.

So, they're all on the same mission and it all makes sense in the end.

The loss of George Carlin, in 2008, meant that Rufus doesn't play a key part in this movie like he did in the first two. We do get to see a hologram of Carlin in Rufus' role plus the time travelling assistant to Bill and Ted is Rufus' daughter. 

On the topic of characters from the originals - Death makes a return. That was probably the best part of the movie although I did chuckle right at the start when they showed that Missy is now married to Ted's younger brother - Deacon.

If you've watched the first two films, you'll know that Missy was married to Bill's father in the first movie but had divorced him and married Ted's father by the time we catch up with everyone in Bogus Journey.

Bill and Ted Face The Music is okay. It isn't better than the first two in any way, though.

No comments:

Post a Comment