Review: 'Bill and Ted Face The Music' But Not The Times

Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in Bill & Ted Face The Music

BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE was quintessential 80s, and for the time it was a novel concept but the 2.0 version feels out of date in BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC. However, Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are most excellent as Bill and Ted especially when they meet other versions of themselves in the future, but their offspring were mere carbon copies of the original dudes that never catches on. There's one new character that steals the show.

William "Bill" S. Preston Esq. (Winter) and Theodore "Ted" Logan (Reeves) have not done much growing up in BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC. The middle aged best friends have yet to compose a song that will save mankind. The two are still stuck at the hip much to the dismay of their wives. As usual, the boys must time-travel in a phone booth to find the tune that will bring harmony to the universe. The film also stars Kristen Schaal, Erinn Hayes, Jayma Mays, Holland Taylor, Kid Cudi, Anthony Carrigan, Jillian Bell, Beck Bennett, William Sadler, Hal Landon Jr. and Amy Stoch.

BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE (1989) and BILL & TED'S BOGUS JOURNEY (1991) were not critical-darlings when they were released in movie theaters but Bill and Ted quickly became iconic because of the fun and silliness they brought to that generation. That generation has grown up, but the film hasn't. BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC doesn't feel modern. There were no real nuisances of today's culture in the story. For example, a phone booth joke is almost mandated here given that they don't exist anymore.

There is no then versus now feel. For a lack of a better word, it seemed white-washed. While the original films painted the world in broad strokes, FACE THE MUSIC can't be that in this woke era.  You don't recognize that world they now live in.

That's not to say it wasn't enjoyable. Keanu and Alex once again capture the magic of the characters. There are hilarious bits with the duo when they meet alternate versions of themselves in the future. Keanu and Alex look like their having fun in ludicrous situatons. Most will wish there more scenes like that in the movie.

Unfortunately, their daughters played by Samara Weaving (READY OR NOT) and Brigette Lundy-Paine are boring distractions as they join in helping their most excellent fathers. The two actress merely do an impression of Keanu and Alex's characters which is the problem. As Thea and Billie, these millennial don't bring anything unique to the movie. Samara stole the show in the horror comedy, READY OR NOT, but here she merely looks like deer in headlights imitating her on screen father. Brigette's copy cat movements of Ted where just uncomfortable to watch. While the aim was perhaps to usher in the next generation of Bill and Ted for some spin-offs, it wasn't clever enough and simply you can't replace Keanu and Alex's Bill and Ted.  

The one new character who did steal the show was a killer robot named Dennis played by Anthony Carrigan ("The Flash'). He's out to destroy Bill and Ted if they don't find their song, but he bumbles the job at every turn. He'll have you in stitches throughout the movie.

For a new generation of movie-goers, BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC might not resonate since this world is unrecognizable but to the now grown-up fans - it'll be a walk down memory lane with a few awkward distractions.

BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC will be released On Demand and in theaters nationwide on August 28, 2020.

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