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 11+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Some styereotypes are upheld/in force here, but at the heart of Bill & 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 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). Androids try to force sex on teenage girls 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.

Language

Occasional language including "s--thead," "hell," "damn," "d--k," and a homophobic slur.

Consumerism

Pepsi products displayed, a concert is sponsored by Mountain Dew. Porsche visible.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

It looks like Bill and Ted drink beer in a scene, but the cans are partially obscured.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this follow up to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure has similar shenanigans to the first movie. Evil androids trash an apartment, kidnap the inhabitants, and push them to their deaths -- all for comic effect. Much of the movie takes place in Hell, where the guys (played by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves) meet Satan and face their fears. Expect occasional language ("s--t" and "dick") and some sexualized female stereotypes, as well as implied drinking.

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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
Teen, 15 years old Written byHikingmountain September 11, 2020

Creepy!

Quite a creepy eerie film actually. Evil Bill and Ted robots kill the good bill and Ted, and they end up in hell. In hell, a VERY creepy Grammy tries to kiss Bi... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 6, 2020

Good, but no where near as good a first one.

This movie is good but I was not as satisfied as I was with the first one. First off the swearing was still infrequent but included more vulgar words such as s-... Continue reading

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?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

Themes & Topics

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