The stakes are higher than ever for the time-traveling exploits of William “Bill” S. Preston Esq. (Alex Winter) and Theodore “Ted” Logan (Keanu Reeves). Yet to fulfill their rock and roll destiny, the now middle-aged best friends set out on a new adventure when a visitor from the future warns them that only their song can save life as we know it. Along the way, they will be helped by their daughters, a new batch of historical figures, and a few music legends — to seek the song that will set their world right and bring harmony in the universe.
The Bill & Ted films released several decades ago are held in high regard for a ton of comedy fans around the world, myself included. They’re definitely not for everyone, though. These films kind of remind me of Dumb & Dumber. Some are going to watch that movie and find it to be greatly funny and some are going to watch it and think it’s painfully unfunny and boring. I, for one, really enjoy both Dumb & Dumber and the two Bill & Ted films. They are extremely self-aware and never take themselves too seriously. They boast a sense of humor that is incredibly over-the-top but beautifully so.
Bill & Ted fans have been waiting for a long time to feast their eyes on a new excellent adventure, as reports of a third movie being in the works have been circulating for several years, but nothing ever came out of them. The last time we saw a film in this franchise was back in 1991, and it seemed like Bogus Journey was the last time we would ever see these two goofy characters grace the big screen. Thankfully though, director Dean Parisot has finally blessed us with Bill & Ted Face the Music, a sequel that does the job of being funny and passes the torch, even if it’s not outstanding in every regard.
To be fair though, I don’t think the previous two films are incredible either. They are fairly funny but extremely amusing movies that you can watch with a friend and have a great time while doing so. They’re not groundbreaking or game-changing in any way, but if you watch the Bill & Ted films, you should have a good time.
For the first twenty minutes or so of Face the Music, I was honestly deeply worried because I barely laughed at all. Certain scenes passed where it was obvious that they were supposed to be hilariously and I just sat there staring at the screen in silence, cringing a little bit inside. I was praying that the rest of the film wasn’t going to be so unfunny, and gratefully it wasn’t. The second and third acts are extremely fun and easily digestible. Some of the gags later on genuinely made me laugh out loud and managed to bring a big smile to my face.
But what makes these movies the most fun aside from the jokes themselves are the actors that are playing Bill and Ted – Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves. Although it’s been nearly two decades since the two have graced the screen together as these characters, they feel just as electric and charismatic as they did all those years ago. Their chemistry here is truly lightning in a bottle, and seeing them back together in these roles again was genuinely heartwarming. If you are a die-hard Bill & Ted fan, you’re going to get a real kick out of seeing them again.
Aside from Reeves and Winter who are definitely excellent in their roles, so too are franchise newcomers Brigette Lundy-Paine and Samara Weaving, who portray the daughters of Ted and Bill respectively. Both of these actresses are hugely talented and it was such a delight to see them have a total blast with their characters here. I’m really hoping that both of them continue to have success down the road because they are definitely rising stars.
If I were to pinpoint one of the biggest flaws with Face the Music, it would have to be some of the visuals in certain scenes. The film uses quite a bit of computer-generated imagery, especially towards the third act and it stuck out like a sore thumb, unfortunately. Gratefully though, there isn’t an overabundance of it.
Of course, this is not a perfect movie and I would imagine that most people knew it wasn’t going to be perfect. This is a film in which two loveable dorks try to create the greatest song in history all while being clumsy and getting into various misfortune along the way. It’s a perfectly enjoyable movie and that’s exactly what it needed to be.
Bill & Ted Face the Music is a joyous and funny adventure filled with heart and boasts wonderfully goofy performances by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves.
Overall Grade: B
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some language
Directed by: Dean Parisot
Distributed by: United Artists Releasing
Release Date: August 28, 2020
Running Time: 88 minutes