- Directed by Dean Parisot
- August 28, 2020
Bill and Ted must write and play a song that will unite all of humanity and save reality-only they haven’t written it yet.
Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter return as Ted “Theodore” Logan and William S. “Bill” Preston, Esq. respectively. Despite having at one point played the Grand Canyon the Wyld Stallions find themselves playing weddings in Barstow, CA at this point in their lives with their marriages to Elizabeth (Erinn Hayes) and Joanna Preston (Jayma Mays), the princesses they met in Bogus Journey, on the verge of collapse. Their band is no more as they have had a falling out the Grim Reaper (William Sadler).
Their daughters Wilhelmina “Billie” Logan (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and Theadora “Thea” Preston (Samara Weaving), who were clearly sons at the end of Journey, are no different than they are. Honestly both actresses were doing rather mediocre impressions of the Reeves and Winter in character.
I think they spent too much time focusing on the daughters. I’m not sure why they changed it from sons to daughters. The explanations I heard in interviews felt a little flimsy. In reality if they had had sons in this movie it would have been either two young actors doing their impressions of Bill and Ted (as the actresses playing the daughters did) or they would have had to go in the complete opposite direction of the characters and make the characters stick up the butt individuals just to differentiate them as characters.
Still though in either instance, hypothetical or what we got, the viewer is not coming back to see the adventures of the daughters. We want to know what happened with Bill & Ted. We want to see how Bill & Ted are going to pull it off saving reality. They are the title characters. At times though it felt like they were secondary in their own film.
Also joining the cast are Holland Taylor as Rufus’s widow The Great Leader, Kristen Schaal as Rufus’s daughter Kelly (whose name is a nod to Carlin’s real-life daughter), Anthony Carrigan (like that last name) as an emotionally insecure time travelling robot named Dennis Caleb McCoy who is sent to kill Bill & Ted because killing them is maybe another way to save reality (huh?), and Kid Cudi as himself.
I thought Bill & Ted Face the Music was funny and the humor and tone in the film were very much in the mold of the previous two movies. In the last two stories much of the humor was what you could call idiot humor. And they continue that here. And they also continue the running gag of Missy (Amy Stoch) marrying a close relative of our lead characters. In this case it is Ted’s younger brother Deacon (Beck Bennett).
At the end of Bogus Journey, it looked as if Bill & Ted were on a path to success with some of the same trials and tribulations other great musical acts have had. Continuing the trend that has been going on since I was young (at least) we find our title characters living terrible lives. The trajectory in which they looked to be headed never came to be. Writers seem to think it is edgy and creative to drop characters when they are brought back in bad lives.
I am not saying the lives of returning characters have to be perfect and all gum drops and lollipops but do they have to be completely terrible? They do not have to be losers which is kind of where we find Bill & Ted. They wouldn’t have needed to be the saviors of humanity either at this point but perhaps elder statesman of music who haven’t quite yet done that one great thing. This brings their whole legendary status in the future into question. Mom or dad may be noteworthy but never occupy a higher position than the famous and actually great child.
They also screwed things up with the daughters being the ones to actually bring humanity together. It has been clear from day one that Bill & Ted were the ones to bring humanity together and not anybody else. Rufus was from a future that looked to use time travel as casually as Doctor Who does. It was not as if they would be unable to check to facts with firsthand observation.
The whole thrust of the film series (at least the first two films) was that Bill & Ted saved it all. It was their musical chords and harmonies and everything else that brought about peace on Earth. Rufus was not confused or lacking information nor were the leaders of the future society. Here Rufus became framed like Morpheus in The Matrix. Morpheus assumed Neo was going to be the savior because of what he thought he knew. Rufus is not Morpheus. Rufus knew concretely.
Despite those issues with the film, it is entertaining and it is rather funny. There are plenty of laughs and plenty of silliness. It fits in nicely with the previous two films. It has the same style of humor and pacing as the original films. Writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon managed to recapture much of the original magic.
Bill & Ted Face the Music is an enjoyable movie. You will laugh and if you are a fan of the first two films you will enjoy most of what you they give you here. But be prepared for that finale. I give this a cautious watch it!