The good (not excellent) sequel that returns Keanu Reeves and Alex Winters to their roots.
It’s been 29 years since “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey” was released in theaters, and now, fans are given a threequel called “Bill & Ted Face the Music. In terms of long-awaited comedy sequels, we’ve had hits like “Anchorman: The Legend Continues” and “Bad Boys for Life,” and misses like “Zoolander 2” and “Dumb and Dumber To.”
“Bill & Ted Face the Future” is not the best of the bunch (with “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” being the funniest and most lively), but it does pick up where the characters left off, and brings Kenau Reeves (as Ted) and Alex Winter (as Bill) both back in their iconic roles.
They both still amaze us with their dialogue and attitudes. They don’t act like they’re forced to dumb down on themselves; they’re committed to their characters, and adapt to the time periods (their different selves pose as rock Brits, buff prison inmates, and wise old men), given that this is a time-traveling trilogy.
It’s 2020, but unfortunately, Bill & Ted and their band Wyld Stallyns went down the tube, and have been labeled has-beens, on account of their failed attempts to write a new song, which would unite the world. It’s 2020. They have daughters as idiotic and ambitious as them (Samara Weaving as Little Ted and Bridget Lundy-Paine as Little Bill), and their Medieval wives (now played by Jayma Mays and Erinn Hayes) are on the brink of divorce. Even Ted’s police captain father (Hal Landon Jr.) still has to tell the dudes to grow up.
Just as their lives are going nowhere, they’re called to the future to save their reality. How? To create a song to unite the world. That was their plan, wasn’t it? Their only option is to steal the life-giving song from themselves, while their daughters recruit Jimi Hendrix (DazMann Still), Louis Armstrong (Jeremiah Craft), Kid Cudi (as himself), and other famous musicians to create a new band for their fathers’ sakes.
The returning cast also features William Sadler back as Death and Amy Stoch as Bill’s stepmom Missy, along with new additions like Beck Bennett as Ted’s young brother Deacon, Kristen Schaal as Rufus’ spunky daughter, Holland Taylor as the leader of the future, Anthony Carrigan as a neurotic, time-traveling robot, and Jillian Bell as a family therapist.
It took me awhile to find laughs in “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” but I was able to find some when Carrigan starts off serious and becomes goofy as the robot, and when Sadler delivers his sly attitude as Death. But mostly, I was hooked at how well Reeves and Winter are able to thrive in the 2020s without catering to a new generation of movie-goers. And Weaving (“Ready or Not”) and Lundy-Prine (“Atypical”) both provide similar tastes and energy as the original stars.
In its own terms, it’s entertaining and nostalgic as “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot,” for example. They both have similar themes about waking up fans in their own silly and passionate ways. And one more thing before I close off this review. It’s another movie to get scarped from the theatrical schedule (given the COVID-19 circumstances), and be released on various streaming sites. It may not be the most excellent buy or rental for fans, but it still should keep them going.
Available on Various Streaming Services