Donny and Brook: The Greatest Sequel of All Time
Brook: I have determined the greatest sequel of all time. Want to guess?
Donny: Oh, is it The Dark Knight? It effectively elevated the adventure-thriller elements of Batman Begins, while delivering a villain so perfectly conceptualized that not only is he an amazing solo element, he also contrasts the hero in the overarching theme of the trilogy.
Brook: Good guess, but no.
Donny: Fine. Terminator 2: Judgment Day! It shook things up by making the bad guy from the first movie the good guy in the second movie. And remade the damsel in distress into a certified badass. It introduced nuanced time travel mechanics that suggested predestination that led to the……further continuation of the franchise? Wait….
Brook: Yeah, the might be a knock against that one. Also no!
Donny: The Godfather Part 2. Still Godfathering. If nothing else, we get an incredible performance of a young Vito as played by a Robert DeNiro on top of his game.
Brook: DeNiro is great, but I honestly prefer the first one.
Donny: So, what is it then?
Brook: Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey.
Donny: Why do I even bother?
Brook: Hear me out. You were just choosing really good movies that also happen to be sequels. Not the best sequel, as in the best follow up to the original, relatively speaking. What is Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey actually about?
Donny: Bill and Ted are trying….
Brook: ……and failing…..
Donny:……to be the saviors they were destined to be. It’s what this possible third one is still going to be about.
Brook: Yea, but that’s not all. They were challenged by terrorists from the supposedly utopian future they create, who send robot doubles to ruin their lives.
Donny: And kill them. They die. Like pretty early on too.
Brook: Right, and then they go on a journey….
Donny:….that’s totally bogus….
Brook:…through the afterlife. Heaven. Hell. Just ethereally hanging out on Earth. The castle where I guess Death lives.
Donny: Sure. And they do some crazy shit. They possess some people. They face their biggest fears.
Brook: They give the Grim Reaper a wedgie. They meet space aliens in heaven.
Donny: Oh man, space aliens get to go to heaven and play charades with Ben Franklin. That’s what I want.
Brook: I can hear you getting on board on how amazing this movie is, but I have a bigger point.
Donny: Right, sorry. Go on!
Brook: Sequels usually do one of two things. They either repeat too many of the older elements, like The Hangover movies, for instance. Or they have to continue elevating the stakes, so the Avengers have to face an invasion of New York City and then the destruction of an entire country and then the dematerializing of half of all life, literally. The first rarely gets a good movie, and the second will definitely find fans but cause franchises to become bloated and unmanageable over time.
Donny: Fair enough, I guess.
Brook: Bill and Ted, the franchise, doesn’t do any of that. It side-steps almost everything that made the first one great except for what made Bill and Ted, the characters, great. It just puts them on a brand new kind of adventure. A supernatural one instead of science fiction one. There is next to no time travel.
Donny: So, if they just went on another fact finding mission in the timestream, it would be like just another Hangover movie, where they allowed themselves to get drugged but simply in a new location?
Brook: Exactly. And despite Bogus Journey sometimes being looked down upon, the comedy is consistent between both movies.So, consistent humor paired with a unique plot equals the best sequel.
Donny: I buy that. I always wondered what a Hangover sequel might look like if the main trio just did something, anything, else. For example, if Old School didn’t already get made and that script just happened to be floating around, with a few re-writes you could slip Bradley Cooper into the Vince Vaughn role, Ed Helms into the Luke Wilson role, and Zack Galifinakis into the Will Ferrell role. I don’t know if it would be better than the Old School that we actually got, but it would definitely be better than The Hangover Part 2 that we got.
Brook: Or if they just committed to the premise of Part 3 and make a buddy road movie, about taking Galifinakis’ character to a rehab facility. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles meets The Last Detail. They try to show Alan one last good time and various coincidences make them suffer the whole way.
Donny: This feels like something that is distinctly tied to broad comedy movies. It is a mistake to think that they are plot-driven and that anyone wants to see Caddyshack 2, where there is just more golfing. If you somehow capture everyone’s imagination with lead characters like Bill and Ted or “The Wolfpack,” then they could virtually do anything, except what we have already seen them do.