Saturday, 19 June, 2021


Best and worst things in Bill & Ted Face the Music

Bill & Ted Face the Music movie poster United Artists Releasing Orion
Hannah Rogers | 30 August, 2020, 12:39

He has also been key to getting the latest Bill & Ted off the ground.

After their defeat of the sinister De Nomolos at the end of Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, the best friends should be feeling most triumphant.

No way is it bogus, but one can't help feel that, with a little more fine-tuning (and Weaving and Lundy-Paine) this could have been excellent.

After a almost 30-year absence, Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted "Theodore" Logan are back for more wacky adventures through time in the long-awaited Bill & Ted Face the Music, which sees the titular duo - once again most amiably played by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, respectively - out to fulfill their grand destiny to unite the world through the power of music. On top of that, the third installment did not feel like a lazy "remake" of the first film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. What makes the new Bill & Ted different, though, is that the duo protagonists did not grow up to be grumpy versions of themselves.

Time, meanwhile, has given Bill and Ted not only spouses (Erinn Hayes and Jayma Mays) but a pair of daughters (Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine) who are just like their middle-aged dads, described during the somewhat dizzying opening sequence as 24-year-old slackers who live at home. The Wyld Stallyns broke up with their killer bassist Death, and over the years, Bill and Ted had resorted to playing open mics and the wedding of Ted's younger brother (who, in a hilarious twist of fate, is now marrying Missy). We were of a certain age, we were coming into adulthood. Oh, and they still need to write the song that unites the entire world and prevents time from folding in on itself.

No mere exercise in Gen X nostalgia, Bill & Ted Face the Music manages to recapture both the spirit and energy of the earlier films while still acknowledging the clear passage of time. And being Bill and Ted, the duo decide that the best course of action is to time travel a few years in the future and steal the song from themselves.

Bill & Ted Face the Music might not be an excellent adventure, but it's up there. Rather than face the drama, Face the Music will crack the joke, then move on to the next one.

There was a loose goofiness between Bill and Ted, especially in the first movie, that's elusive here.

This is when Kristen Schaal's character comes in. Lundy-Paine, in particular, is a revelation, as they attempt to recruit everyone from Jimi Hendrix, Louis Armstrong and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to their epoch-changing cause. It's hard living up to a film beloved by so many, but this second sequel does a good job of evoking everything that was great about its predecessors - even if it could never entirely measure up. Every line out of Carrigan's mouth is gut-bustingly hilarious, which he delivers with all the guilelessness of the nerdy kid at school who accidentally bumped into you and dropped all his books (which is kind of incredible considering the amount of prosthetics that the Barry breakout is under). So I think that informed my life in a certain way. This extended sequence is more strained than amusing until Bill and Ted's former bandmate, Death (William Sadler), turns up.

Face the Music is just so overwhelmingly nice. It took a lot of people, a lot of hands on deck, to get it done. And they just want to share their joy for the things they care about (namely rock "n" roll) to the world.

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