Directed by Dean Parisot
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Kristen Schaal, William Sadler, Anthony Carrigan
Runtime: 92 Minutes
Rating: PG-13 (For some language)
If you’ve ever watched a Bill & Ted film you know how it is going to play out. It’s zany, slapstick, but usually FEEL GOOD. This is the third film in the trilogy with the last release Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey coming out in 1991. I saw this film 2 weeks ago and we have staggered the entertainment column JUST IN CASE we don’t have a new release in a coming week. Fingers crossed we don’t and I feel Hollywood has a pretty good plan/schedule in place. I can’t wait for Wonder Woman 1984. Next Thursday you’ll have a review of the newest release called Tenet. Back to our current entry. I took my younger brother Aaron to see Bill & Ted. We are both fans from our childhood and I think I said “Party on Dudes” around 300 times leading up to this film. I was EXCITED. I did worry though. Would this be another sequel that is decades too late? Would we get a rehash of old plot points and no fresh material? Would Keanu Reeves only been seen as Neo/John Wick and not the loveable Theodore “Ted” Logan? This was all questions I had in my mind leading up to the showing but I was cautiously optimistic.
Onto the film.
Obviously we open up decades after the last film. Bill (Winter) and Ted (Reeves) are “old” and they are now parents. We get a nice recap of the exploits of the Wyld Stallyns. Like most things in life, it didn’t go as planned. They never released a song to unite the world. Death (Sadler) had left the band and their friendship had a falling out. Their wives (the princesses) are unhappy and life is at a standstill. This movie is titled “Face the Music” and that’s what they would have to do on this journey.
As they contemplate life’s big decisions Kelly (Schaal) appears. She’s the daughter of Rufus (George Carlton) who was a fixture in the previous films. The World needs them again. They have until 7:17 PM of that day to write a song to AGAIN unite the world. Off on the adventure they go. We see them in various stages of life and the alter-egos of both characters are truly laugh-out-loud funny. This isn’t only the Bill and Ted show. Their daughters Theadora “Thea” Preston (Weaving) and Wilhelmina “Billie” Logan (Lundy-Paine) realize their dads are in trouble. Not only does the Wyld Stallyn duo need to create a song to unite the world. They have a time-traveling robot sent to kill them. I’ll be honest. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter both are hilarious and it’s a call-back to the previous films.
However, the robot steals the movie. I had tears in my eyes from laughter as his story unfolds. TRULY HILARIOUS.
Back to the daughters. My one complaint and its small was their use in the story. We see retreads from the first film (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.) They are off to help form a band to help their dads. As I said earlier, I worried that this film would be a rehash, however, this plot point doesn’t overstep its welcome or take up the bulk of the story. It’s surprisingly a nice blend with new and old.
Let’s get into the technical aspects of the film. Obviously the music is a highlight and a strength. It always has been in the series. Whether we get to hear old musicians or Bill and Ted rocking out, it leaves a smile on your face. The acting was a strength as well. I worried Ted (Reeves) wouldn’t feel like Ted. It has been 29 years since the last entry. We’ve watched Keanu Reeves get revenge for his dog, save the world from robots. He’s a machine. However, he channels his inner goof-ball and it was obvious he had fun with this one. The visuals look great and being a time-traveling film they need to be. The makeup as well, as we see some of the cast aged. We get cameos and most importantly we get a plot with real heart. The film is called “Face the Music.” So often in times, we all do the same. We think on career choices, where to live, am I a good parent, am I a good partner? These are all areas where we, all of us, face the music. Movies, NORMALLY, are there for us to escape the world. This film helps bring some joy and maybe makes the bad we face not so bad. I’ve seen so much anger and sadness in 2020. You turn on the TV and you see a war between brothers and families with differing views. I truly appreciated being able to sit down with my brother and smile. I think daily about how we can come together as people. How we can love and laugh more. As cheesy as it sounds, taking moments and seeing stories like the one we just watched truly helped. Be excellent to each other and PARTY ON DUDES! 4 ½ Stars out of 5
This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper