Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey

Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey Movie Poster Image
Slackers meet Satan in not-quite-so-excellent adventure.
  • PG
  • 1991
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 10 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Some stereotypes upheld, but at the heart of Bill and Ted is the message to "be excellent to each other."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Bill and Ted may fit the "slacker" stereotype, but they've got their hearts in the right place, and they're decent guys. Death is a patient, scythe-wielding character who actually becomes kind of a lovable sidekick. The evil androids, who are trying to kill Bill and Ted, are malevolent and sexist. Women are largely seen as little more than "babes"/ trophies.

Violence

Some gnarly robot behavior, including pulling skin apart to expose robot parts hidden underneath. Punching. A perilous fall that kills two main characters (who later come back as ghosts). Bill and Ted's princess girlfriends hang from the rafters of the arena where the Battle of the Bands takes place, on the verge of falling to their deaths. Androids try to force sex on teenage girls, demanding that they "put out,"  but are unsuccessful. Death is a key character in the story. 

Sex

Lewd reference to being excited when a character sees a photo of a female. As ghosts, Bill and Ted look down the dress of a woman and gawk at her breasts. Passionate kissing after marriage proposals. 

Language

Occasional language including "s--thead," "hell," "damn," "p--sweeds," "d--k," and variations of "d--k." Ted calls the Devil a "f-g." Evil robot Bill and Ted call the real Bill and Ted "f-gs." Middle finger gesture. 

Consumerism

Pepsi and Lite Beer cans and signage. Mountain Dew cans, and the brand sponsors the Battle of the Bands, along with Reebok. Doritos bags clearly shown in the mess of Bill and Ted's apartment. Just like the original, strange things are afoot in scenes set in a Circle K parking lot. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Bill drinks from a can of Miller Lite before proposing to his girlfriend. Cigarette smoking in one scene. Cigar smoking in one scene. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey is the 1991 sequel to the better-known Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. In this installment, evil robot versions of Bill and Ted are sent from the distant future to kill the real Bill and Ted before they have the chance to shape a positive destiny for humankind and the planet. While much of the dumb slacker humor holds up, some of it has not, including two instances of a homophobic slur being used, and evil robot Ted using slang to express his sexual arousal while looking at a picture of one of the English princesses who are their girlfriends. Expect some profanity, including "s--thead," and "d--k."  Some sexualized female stereotypes. Drinking and cigarette smoking in one scene, and cigar smoking in another. There's also a fair amount of product placement, particularly from Pepsi and Miller Lite, and in this sequel, the Circle K is also a place where "strange things are afoot." Much of the movie takes place in Hell, where the guys (played by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves) meet Satan and face their fears.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13 and 16-year-old Written byM382 April 13, 2020

Still funny

In what universe is this ok for age 10/ 11? Getting a “full-on robot chubby” and trying to physically force women to “put out”? The hell scenes: also iffy for... Continue reading
Adult Written bydavispittman September 17, 2017

Poor, irritating sequal

This sequel to Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure is pretty lame. The writing is phoned in, very bland and woefully unfunny. It's very very formulai... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old March 20, 2021

Stupid Sequel is really weird

Just weird no normal movie. Lots of weird violence, creepy monsters, laser guns and satan gives bill and Ted there own personal hell with a creepy grandmother w... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byLoranikas303 March 17, 2021

What's the story?

In BILL & TED'S BOGUS JOURNEY, Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are two teenagers who like to hang out and shred on guitar. That is, until an evil dude from the future threatens to kill their Utopian dream by sending back in time two evil androids who look like Bill and Ted but are so ... not them. When the evil Bill and Ted push the real Bill and Ted to their deaths, the two ghosts have to travel through Hell in order to regain their mortality and win the rock music contest that their destinies rely on.

Is it any good?

As the sequel to Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, this movie doesn't hold up to the first movie's fresh quality. Though there are some laugh-out-loud moments, Bill and Ted seem to be stumbling through the gates of Hell to get to the grand finale. Moreover, we don't get enough of George Carlin in this movie, whose character Rufus created a nice foil to the slacker pace in the first movie.

Perhaps, too, the airhead stereotype has been reprised so often that the 21st-century viewers can't appreciate how illuminating Reeve's' characterization of Ted was in the late '80s and early '90s. We now see echoes of this slacker character all the time, but his portrayal was one of the first to define a generation. Keeping that in mind, parents who grew up in the '80s might enjoy introducing their tweens to a little lighthearted fun care of the boys from San Dimas.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the "slacker" stereotype. What does that mean to you? Do you consider Bill and Ted to be slackers?

  • The "dudes" shred on guitar, and the "babes" are treated like prizes. Are those stereotypes? If so, what message does that send to viewers?

  • Death -- AKA The Grim Reaper -- ends up being a pretty decent dude in this movie. How does playing down death and dying work as comedy? Where can it go wrong?

  • In two scenes, the guys use a homophobic slur. In many movies from the '80s and into the '90s, there are scenes in which gross stereotypes based on race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation are used for the sake of humor, as well as humor rooted in fat-shaming and ageism. Besides being lazy attempts at humor, how do these jokes perpetuate hurtful stereotypes? Why do you think these kinds of jokes were accepted in our culture for so long? 

Movie details

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