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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Some stereotypes upheld, but at the heart of Bill and Ted is the message to "be excellent to each other."
Positive Role Models
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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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.
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.