It’s been almost 30 years since Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter were the lovable airheads Bill and Ted and the dynamic duo have been reunited for this third entry, Bill and Ted Face the Music.
Normally, waiting for a long period of time between sequels can spell doom for a franchise, but believe it or not, this is a sequel that’s not quite excellent, but far from bogus. Whoa.
Reeves and Winter return as the titular characters who by this point are middle-aged dudes who are now married and have daughters (Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Payne).
They didn’t fulfill their destiny by writing the song that would unite the world and instead they have to deal with mundane things such as getting real jobs and attending couple’s therapy with their wives (Erinn Hayes and Jayma Mays).
They’re visited by a messenger from the future named Kelly (Kristen Schaal), the daughter of Rufus (George Carlin) who tells them they have 77 minutes to write the song that will unite the world or reality will cease to exist. No pressure.
The duo time travels to various years to meet their future selves in order to steal the song and bring it back to the present. Some of these encounters are funny such as when they meet themselves in prison and others can be hit-or-miss. A British Bill and Ted sequence ends with a cameo by a rock star of the last 25 years.
Bill and Ted’s daughters decide to get in on the action after being visited by Kelly and they decide to go time traveling by collecting some of music’s most influential figures to help out. Everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Louis Armstrong to Mozart is along for the ride.
Sure it’s relentlessly silly and the time-travel mumbo jumbo is a bit of a traffic jam at times, but Reeves and Winter infuse their roles with earnestness and self-awareness that they become impossible to hate.
Plus, Weaving and Lundy-Paineare are welcome additions and the plot does take some unexpected directions even if we can still see it coming from a mile away.
Despite its goofiness, Face the Music also stresses the importance of camaraderie and passion for music even in the direst of circumstances.
In a year that’s been dominated by COVID-19, protests, rioting, and an inevitability cutthroat presidential election, it’s nice to see a movie that is unapologetically silly yet possesses a sweet optimism at its core.
Again, it’s not excellent, but not bogus. You can party on with this one.