Bill and Ted Face the Music
Director: Dean Parisot
Producers: Scott Kroopf, Alex Lebovici, David Haring, Steve Ponce, Ed Solomon, Alex Winter
Genre: Science Fiction Comedy
Release Date: 28th August 2020
Streaming Platform: Running in Theatres
Star Cast: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Samara Weaving, William Sadler, Kristen Schaal, Anthony Carrigan, Jayma Mays, Erinn Hayes, Holland Taylor, Kid Cudi, Jillian Bell, Hal Landon Jr., Amy Stoch, Beck Bennett, Win Butler
When we last met Bill and Ted, they were time-traveling teenagers trying to pass history class and win the battle of the bands. Once prophesized to save the universe with their rock and roll, middle age and the responsibilities of family have caught up with these two best friends who have not yet fulfilled their destiny. They have written thousands of tunes, but they have yet to write a good one, much less the greatest song ever written.
With the fabric of time and space tearing around them, a visitor from the future warns our heroes that only their song can save life as we know it. Out of luck and fresh out of inspiration, Bill and Ted set out on a time travel adventure to seek the song that will set their world right and bring harmony in the universe as we know it. Together, with the aid of their daughters, a new crop of historical figures, and some sympathetic music legends, Bill and Ted find much, much more than just a song.
This film acts as a sequel to Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991) and the third instalment in the Bill and Ted Trilogy.
Stephen Herek’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure concerned two teenage California stoner -bro types who dream of being rock stars. Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) have no talent or experience, as they are addicted to the fantasies of fame, blissfully unaware of the work involved in the tradition of many children (and adults) with similar implausible daydreams. In the film’s best joke, we are told early on that Bill and Ted will be revolutionary rockers and save the future, an idea that might cut to the wellspring of the deepest egos of many an actual rock titan.
The two friends meet Napoleon, Billy the Kid, Sigmund Freud, Joan of Arc, and many others, but few jokes are spun directly off from these interactions. This missed opportunity was corrected by a far more inventive sequel, 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, in which they are sent to hell by evil doppelganger robots.
Now, Dean Parisot’s years-in-the-making Bill & Ted Face the Music surprisingly arises as the most enjoyable entry in the series: it is slower, melancholic tempo allows the viewer to take in the jokes and enjoy them in leisure.
Face the Music juggles more plotlines than the previous films (which were almost entirely from Bill and Ted’s perspective), but it works, especially with the joyful exuberance of Billie and Thea. The new movie never feels like a retreat, but instead feels like a fresh story worth telling, and a story that could only be told with an older Bill and Ted.
Enduring the monotony of middle-aged life, Bill and Ted are warned by a visitor from the future of the need for them to create a song in 78 minutes that will save all life on Earth and the entire universe. The pair work with their families, old friends, famous musicians, and each other to complete the task. The new sequel retains the sweetness and silliness of the originals, while embracing the fact that it’s been a few decades since we last saw these characters.