Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)
Director: Dean Parisot
Writers: Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Kristen Schaal, Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Anthony Carrigan, Erinn Hayes, Jayma Mays, Holland Taylor, Kid Cudi, William Sadler, and Jillian Bell
Plot: Bill and Ted travel through time trying to find the song that’s going to save the universe.
Review: Bill and Ted are back, dudes! I honestly never thought I’d see the day. Even as Keanu and Alex brought it up over the years, I thought it was a pipe dream. There is no way a studio would dump funds into a belated sequel to a semi-cult classic. But, then, Keanu blew up again and, well, here we are. And, while far from perfect, Bill & Ted Face the Music is just what 2020 needed. Fun characters. Good vibes. Rocking tones. And, a heaping serving of nostalgia.
For the first 70% of Bill & Ted Face the Music or so, the plot is split into two distinct storylines. In one, we follow our lead characters from the other two movies in the franchise as they try to fulfill their destiny of saving the world. Then, we’ve got the other timeline with their daughters who are trying to help. Both have their pros and cons. But, I actually found myself more into the new characters. Don’t get me wrong though. I loved seeing William S. “Bill” Preston, Esq and Ted “Theodore” Logan again. Winter and Reeves fall right back into the roles perfectly and they’re just fun characters to be around. It was a lot of fun to see where they ended up going with their lives. However, their plot also gets a tad… repetitive. They’re trying to track down the perfect song by stealing it from their future selves. This involves a lot of future Bill & Teds (complete with a lot of makeup) and modern Bill & Ted talking to each other. I think it goes on for maybe just one scene too long. Despite having almost thirty years to think of a new idea, it feels like the writers could barely find enough for our duo to do for half of a relatively short movie. I never felt bored and enjoyed myself while watching it, but, once the movie wrapped, it did feel like they weren’t given that much exciting stuff to do.
But, weirdly enough, I did find myself super into the story that was being told with their daughters. I didn’t think I was going to be at first. It looked like the two actresses were just doing easy, SNL like impersonations of our favorite characters. However, they quickly grew on me and became my favorite part of the movie. Plot wise, they’re essentially doing a reboot of the first movie. Trying to help their dads, Billie and Thea (yes, that’s their names) travel through time to build the ultimate band to play the song that’ll save the universe. Yes, it’s a retread of the first movie but I still very much enjoyed it. It felt very much like Bill & Ted and that’s what I’m here for. Plus, this band they put together is a lot of fun and created some rocking tunes.
As for the tone, if you’ve seen the previous Bill & Ted movies, you pretty much know what to expect. They’re silly movies with charming characters that are bound to win you over. It’s nothing to be taken seriously or overthought. In fact, it was kind of the perfect pallet cleanser after Tenet. All of your favorite characters from the first movie are here. It only feels a little forced, unlike some sequels. Overall, I think fans of the series will be happy with this closing chapter.
I quite enjoyed this new adventure with Bill & Ted. Like I said, it wasn’t perfect. But, it made me happy. I liked seeing all the old characters and meeting some new ones. The jokes were funny. The plot was mostly good. And, the ending actually even made me tear up a bit. It’s definitely earned it’s spot right up there with the two previous excellent adventures. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go back and watch the franchise from the beginning…
TL;DR: Bill & Ted Face the Music feels slightly forced at times, but is still a most excellent reunion.
Score: 7/10 (Good)