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(Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was for a poem based on the way people normally talk, so I poked fun at the devolution of the English language. Best read with a valley girl/guy accent.)

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Have you ever, like, noticed how people, like, talk,
Contracting their verbs into mush?
It’s, you know, “I wanna,” “I’m gonna,” and stuff
That’d make Noah Webster, like, blush.

I don’t know how English, like, got to this point,
But I follow it to the letter.
It’s, you know, like, likely you like how you talk,
But other folks shoulda learned better.

MPAA rating: PG

It may have only taken two years for Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure to get a sequel, but it took me at least a decade to finally catch up with their Bogus Journey. There’s something about the first film that’s so absurdly entertaining, so I wanted to believe that that creative lightning would strike again with the sequel.

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The first film had a goal specified early on, gathering historical figures so Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) don’t flunk history and ruin the future in the process. In this one, the plot rambles even more, as an ambitious baddie in the future (Joss Ackland) sends evil Bill and Ted robots back in time to kill the good Bill and Ted and pave the way for their master’s reign. I’ll just ignore how absurd the plan is and how the bad guy doesn’t seem to understand how altering the past works. The film’s original title was Bill and Ted Go to Hell, a fitting option as the plot veers away from sci-fi and pits the dimwitted duo against the Grim Reaper (white-faced William Sadler, unrecognizable compared with his roles in Shawshank or The Green Mile).

Of course, it was fun revisiting Bill and Ted and their valley-guy nomenclature, with even a cameo from George Carlin, and Winter and Reeves fit these roles like two chuckleheaded gloves. I did get a kick out of the film’s reference to Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal and its game against Death (as well as the realization that this film surely inspired the cartoon series The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy). Yet for all its humor, I didn’t laugh very often, and the rampant silliness just didn’t quite match the “educated stupidity,” as I call it, of the first film.

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It’s telling when one film has “Excellent” in the title and the next one has “Bogus.” This sequel isn’t bad and even quite amusing with some quotable gems, but perhaps I need to see it a few more times before I can embrace its cult classic status. With the announcement of a long-awaited third film entitled Bill and Ted Face the Music, I’m hoping the next one will be better.

Best line: (Bill, after seeing hell) “We got totally lied to by our album covers, man.”


Rank: Honorable Mention


© 2019 S.G. Liput
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