I saw Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey in 1991, when it was on release in theatres in London. It wasn’t a great film, boring in places, funny in places, and as a shared social movie-going experience it was an uplifting experience. It had a boyish charm and an irreverent attitude about it while also being highly commercialised entertainment.
That was also a night when I met an old friend from university, we had a meal together and a few beers. On nights like that the cinema-going-experience blurs into a mishmash of the company you’re in and the atmosphere of the evening. The film you’ve watched dissolves into a combination of those variables.
I can’t remember seeing Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, which was released in 1989. Maybe I saw in at the cinema? Maybe I saw it on TV later? I can’t remember, to be honest.
When I watched Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) I think that I was really hoping to re-experience those good feeling from a night out in London in 1991. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.
Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey has received some positive criticism, but I’m mystified why. It’s not great. Bill and Ted are pretty bad. Pretty much everything else around them is more interesting. Their wives are more interesting, their daughters are more interesting, and the killer robot is more interesting.
If Bill and Ted had passed on the reigns to their daughters things might have been better. Instead we have two old blokes in a dads’-movie doing dad-jokes.