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Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991) and the You Sank My Battleship Moment

The One-Line Summary: The future is a nirvana of endless joy and guitar licks thanks to the influence of Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted’s (Keanu Reeves) Wyld Stallyn’s Music, though one man is not a fan and after creating two evil robots that look exactly like our heroes, steals a time-traveling phone booth and sends the androids back to stop the current future from happening.   

The Two-Line Blurb: Directed by Peter Hewitt, the sequel to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a surprisingly fresh take on the original premise that doesn’t rely on a lot of retreading over old jokes, instead crafting a unique and amusing story that has a lot of depth and creativity. While both Winter and Reeves have perfected the airhead party dudes, it is William Sadler as the Grim Reaper who entirely steals the show, playing the leader of the dead as a kind of inept fool who can’t seem to outwit even these two slackers, though does it with great humor and charm.

The Three-Line Moment Set-up: This moment is all about cheating death for the ones you love and begins when the evil Bill & Ted robots travel back and find the real Bill & Ted practicing in their band with their fiancee’s, overpowering them and forcing to Vasquez Rocks and making them jump to their deaths, or so they think. Instead, they meet Death who challenges them to a contest but they escape by giving him a ‘Melvin’ but end up cast in Hell when their spirits are sent away in a séance by Bill’s stepmom, Missy. They plummet for a hours down a long black hole (passing the time screaming and playing twenty questions) until landing on a medium-sized boulder attached to an enormous chain floating over a pool of fire where they meet the devil, who tortures them until they realize the contest with the Grim Reaper is the better option.

The Four-Line Moment: In a dank and musty room filled with Gothic accents, the boys face off against Death, giving them the choice of which game to play, which turns out to be Battleship, much to the Grim Reaper’s displeasure. The strategy game proves too much for Death and he is beaten, but since he’s Death, alters the deal and tells them that they must win two out of three games. Next, they play the Clue, a murder-mystery board game, and once again Death is outsmarted, losing to the boys, so he alters the deal one more time, and so they try Super Bowl table football and then Twister, a game of physical skill that involves maintaining balance on a floor mat with colored circles arranged in a matrix, which again proves too difficult for the hopelessly maladroit Reaper. The moment is the funniest sequence in the film and showcases how the boy’s innocence and honesty, despite their attitude and appearance, make them superior opponents, cleverly defeating the impossible and gaining the upper in hand in saving their true loves.

The Five-Word Review: Dude, this is pretty good.

Clip courtesy Movieclips

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Director:

Peter Hewitt (as Pete Hewitt)

Writers:

Chris Matheson (characters), Ed Solomon(characters)

Stars:

Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, William Sadler

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