Movie Reviews

‘Bill & Ted Face The Music’- Film Review: This Anticipated Threequel is Most Excellent, Dudes

Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter make their almost 30-year return as the lovable duo to save the universe by writing a song. Is it worth the wait? Here's my review of Bill & Ted Face the Music! (air guitar noise)

Long time fans of the Bill & Ted franchise have been waiting for a very long for a new movie to come out and see the long-awaited return of our two favorite guys of San Dimas, California back to form. In the beginning, they had to travel through time to meet important figures from the past to help them with their history presentation. After that, two robot clones killed them and sent them to Hell. Almost 30 years later, let’s just say Bill & Ted Face The Music will put a smile on everyone’s face.

What’s the Story: Yet to fulfill their rock and roll destiny, the now middle-aged best friends William “Bill” S. Preston Esq. (Alex Winter) and Theodore “Ted” Logan (Keanu Reeves) set out on a brand new adventure when Rufus’ daughter Kelly (Kristen Schaal) from the year 2720 take them to visit The Great Leader, warning them they must write a song that can save the lives of everybody and bring harmony to the universe before time runs out in 78 minutes.

Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)

To be honest, Bill & Ted Face The Face was one of my most anticipated movies of the year because it was so cool knowing this was finally coming out. And it’s the only movie from my most anticipated of the year I’ve seen thus far. Bummer. We were wondering this was every going to become a reality since this was talked about for over a decade now. Thankfully, the news got out about it was going into production last year, and here we are. But I had to keep in mind that not a lot of comedy sequels are worth getting excited about nowadays. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a classic in the genre, while its 1991 sequel Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey wasn’t as good as many thought it would be. Most sequels that wait this long for a follow-up don’t always make for an entertaining experience. That goes double for comedies. Thankfully, there’s no need to worry about this here since I had a ball watching this trilogy back in the saddle again.

Capitalizing on that kind of nostalgia makes you worry this would all be a waste of time for everyone involved. But I have to give credit for director Dean Parisot (Galaxy QuestRed 2) stepping in and returning screenwriters Chris Matheson & Ed Solomon for making this feel like it’s truly part of the franchise that might not feel tiring after a long wait like this. The overall feel and tone throughout this were that was able to have fun and be charming, without taking everything seriously. For a plot surrounding the iconic duo traveling through time again in the phone booth, but to find the key to a song that can save the universe as we know it, that’s something that fits perfectly for the realm of possibilities. Many of us have always wondered what these two have been doing all this time since the last movie and wondered if they made it big with Wyld Stallyns. They didn’t. Both of them still haven’t grown up when they’re married to their princess wives (Jayma Mays and Erinn Hayes), but have felt disconnected recently. But all this sequel has to do is to be funny, have music, and time travel. Did it succeed? Indeed. Not only that, but it offers important value about how we should be able to bring unity with music that binds us together along with the troubles of growing up. We might’ve seen that before, but this time is worth remembering.

If you go into this movie and not expect the likes of Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter to now completely own these two popular roles of theirs, then you don’t deserve to watch this. They haven’t played Bill & Ted since 1991, but it was like they never skip a beat with their performances, even if they have gotten older. The chemistry between them is still a joy as always when you just feel like they are the best of friends who do everything together, and that’s a mighty positive. We’ve seen Reeves pop in many films over the past few years with his resurgence lately, and he was awesome as Ted. However, it was so nice to see Winter back on-screen again as Bill since he has mostly been working on the directing side, including the recent HBO documentary Showbiz Kids (worth watching). These are the kind of characters you can never get tired of because of their upbeat attitude about life.

Keanu Reeves, William Sadler, and Alex Winter in Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)

Personally, I found this funny and laughed more than I thought, especially in the first two acts for its short runtime of 90 minutes. A part of me was worried this would end up becoming a laugh-free sequel like all the other wasted opportunities comedy sequels that have failed, but the same kind of humor done with the previous installments worked in its favor without becoming offensive. Some of the funniest moments usually involve Bil & Ted meet up with their future versions of themselves when traveling to different years to see if they came up with the song. Out of three we have, I think Excellent Adventure contains more laughs, but this comes in second.

But besides our two guys, the other bug standouts came from Bridgette Lundy- Paine and Samara Weaving as the duo’s respective daughters, Thea and Billie. These two not only had terrific chemistry with each other, but they totally acted like their dads in terms of how they talk and their mannerisms; that’s because they think their dads are the coolest. I didn’t know if they were going to work when they’re also on a quest through time to assemble a band made up of famous musicians (Mozart, Jimi Hendrix, etc.) figures, similar to the first entry. But I was so wrong about that. They are just female versions of our protagonist dudes, but you never complain once when they return. Whenever Weaving is starring in anything now, the chances of loving her performance is very high since she’s not only one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood right now, but she’s a talented actress. Besides the point, I wouldn’t mind seeing some kind of spin-off of just the two of them.

The rest of the supporting cast as well-suited for the time they had. Kid Cudi plays himself, so that was cool to see. Then you also Kristen Schaal, whose presence is never dull as she plays Rufus’ daughter Kelly, and it was a solid tribute to the late, great George Carlin who died 12 years ago, Anthony Carrigan (Barry) as the killer robot to kill the guys across time didn’t work for me at first, but he was funny later on. And it was nice to see William Sadler reprise his role as Death from Bogus Journey, who now has a beef with the duo after the fallout of the band. Be sure to be surprised by a cameo by one fine singer of one of my favorite bands in the middle. 

Samara Weaving, Kid Cudi, and Brigette Lundy-Paine in Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)

Did I expect a predecessor like this to be great? Of course not. Some jokes didn’t get to me later on before getting to the third act. And with every movie with a time travel concept around it, it doesn’t make a lot of sense when you think about it. As soon as it ended, it does end abruptly, which I didn’t expect. This was only 90 minutes, and I wasn’t bored once while watching. Who knows if we’re lucky enough to get another sequel right now, but during a time when we still don’t know how the rest of 2020 is going to be like, this is the kind of movie we need to lift spirits, taking the stress of life away and being able to kick back, rock out, or have a smile on your face the entire time.

In the end, Bill & Ted Face The Face will not be the reigning champion of the best comedy of the year, but let it be sure it’s most excellent, my dudes, as this was a worthy return to the franchise. It’s a surprisingly good third installment that’s funny and has likable performances from Reeves and Winter that never grows old. If anything, fans won’t be disappointed with this, as long as you don’t overthink everything going on. The best take away from any of these movies is simply this: “Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes.”

Grade: B

Bill & Ted Face the Music Movie Poster

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