Bill & Ted Face the Music is exactly the sort of film 2020 needed. This sci-fi comedy is silly, goofy, fun, endearing and never takes itself too seriously. In other words, it’s ‘most excellent’. Its 91 minutes pass by very quickly and even its flaws feel charming.
Admittedly, as a fan of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991), I was a bit nervous about this sequel. While I was excited to see Keanu Reeves (Theodore “Ted” Logan) and Alex Winter (William S. “Bill” Preston, Esq.) return to their hilarious roles, I was concerned that Hollywood would ruin the memories of another childhood franchise with a sequel. Plus, I wasn’t sure if Reeves and Winter would have the same dynamite chemistry after 30, yes, 30 years!
While I haven’t seen Winter onscreen in decades, Reeves’ stopped doing comedies a while ago. Thankfully, my fears were unfounded. Director Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) gives fans exactly what they wanted. This isn’t a dark or cynical sequel. The story continues in the same vein as its predecessors, albeit with modern graphics that sometimes feel out of place.
Reeves and Winter have the same ‘most excellent’ chemistry as before. If not hilarious, the two are amusing together throughout the film. Both produce the same great, wide-eyed performances that made them great together before.
You watch a film such as Bill & Ted Face the Music for good old-fashioned, hearty comedy. And it delivers
The film begins in 2020 where Bill and Ted are married and have daughters. They are in loving relationships with their wives, though the spouses aren’t happy about their co-dependent relationship. They are in therapy, though this interesting subplot is left unexplored.
Bill’s daughter Theadora “Thea” Preston is played by Samara Weaving. Interestingly, Samara Weaving is the niece of Hugo Weaving, who starred as the nemesis of Neo (Keanu Reeves) in The Matrix trilogy. Meanwhile, Ted’s daughter Wilhelmina “Billie” Logan is played by Brigette Lundy-Paine.
Brigette Lundy-Paine is very funny as Ted’s daughter. For one, she looks so much like Keanu Reeves you’d think she was his actual daughter. She also has all of Ted’s mannerisms down. Unfortunately, Samara Weaving isn’t quite as good as Bill’s daughter. To make matters worse, the Australian actress isn’t as convincing with the silly American lingo.
In Bill & Ted Face the Music, our heroes once again travel through time. Instead of saving humanity, they must repair the universe. Their mission is to use the time-travelling phone to steal the great song from their future selves.
Meanwhile, their daughters put together the greatest band of all time. This includes Jimi Hendrix, Louis Armstrong, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ling Lun and a drummer named Grom. Along the way, we meet old favourites such as the good ol’ Grim Reaper. Played by William Sadler, the Personification of Death is in a quarrel with Bill and Ted because of a lawsuit.
Bill & Ted Face the Music isn’t a perfect film. Not all the jokes hit the mark. The CGI also seems to suffer from a low-budget in a few scenes. But no one watches Bill & Ted films for the special effects. You watch a film like this for good old-fashioned, hearty comedy.
Rated PG-13 for some language
Published in Dawn, ICON, September 20th, 2020