Over the weekend, I watched the entire Bill and Ted trilogy with my boys (12 and 6). My older boy had seen Excellent Adventure before, but it was the first time for my second, other than a few scenes. He'd found a copy of the movie on my old netbook PC, and watched the Western saloon scene where they order beers and meet Billy the Kid.
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure really holds up after all these years. I'd last seen it a few years ago. I was not disappointed by it this time. My boys also really liked it, and the silliness of the historical figures in 1980's San Dimas really delighted the boys.
Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey didn't hold up so well. There were laughs, but not as many. The story is a little harder to follow. I had to explain more to my 6 year old as we watched. Still, I figured it would be important for them to see it before we watched part 3, and I was right. I had to do a lot less explaining as we watched Face the Music.
So, mandatory section on language in the movie, since "movie title + curse" leads parents to this blog. There was a similar level of cursing to the other two movies. No F bombs, a few people called dickheads or dickweeds. Many most creative uses of nonstandard vocabulary to express all things non-triumphant.
The plot is not full of twists. It's fairly straightforward, and I could see one of the main critical elements of the resolution coming just from watching the trailers. But the other element of it surprised me, in a good way.
The actresses who played Bill and Ted's daughters were really fun to watch. They were as appealing as Bill and Ted, and while it isn't their movie, they didn't feel tacked on like the Princess Babes were in the first two movies. The Princesses also had a nice little story arc, but there wasn't much time to explore it so well. At least they had something to do this time.
The CGI is a bit overdone at times, but then that sort of fits with the low budget effects that the first two movies had. Everything in the future/circuits of time is better rendered, but it doesn't necessarily look better, if you know what I mean. So while it's updated, it still feels sorta like the original.
Casting was good, too. I had to check on IMDB after watching it to see if the guy playing Deacon (Ted's brother) was the same as in Excellent Adventure (it isn't, but looks like he could be). Also, I noticed that a different pair of actresses played the princesses in each movie. I don't remember if I'd noticed that different actresses had been hired in Bogus Journey. They were such small parts of both movies. But Joanna and Elizabeth were recast yet again. Both sets of actresses from the previous films seem to be active, so I'm wondering why they didn't want to be part of this. Maybe because the characters were just plot devices in the earlier films. Anyway, they're actually characters with arcs in this one, if the arc is a bit shallow.
Quick Edit: Gotta love a movie with a robot named Dennis. Most outstanding!
In the end, it was just fun to see Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves playing their iconic duo on screen again. They still have the chemistry they exhibited 30 years ago, and it made me happy.