Bill & Ted Face The Music is directed by Dean Parisot and it is the third Bill & Ted movie after Bogus Journey back in 1991. Set in a very fictional 2020, we find a much older yet still dangerously dumb Bill and Ted who have yet to perform their prophesied song that will unite the universe for all time. Now that time is running out, a wild goose chase with your favourite characters and callbacks ensues. The movie stars Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Bridgette Lundy-Paine, Samara Weaving, Anthony Carrigan and Kristen Schaal.
Being a huge fan of Regular Show, an animated show which takes huge inspiration from the Bill & Ted franchise, you would think I would have seen these movies by now. The truth is that I’ve just seen them for the first time this past week to review this movie. I actually didn’t enjoy them all that much. I get the appeal but I honestly cannot stand Bill and Ted. It’s the same with Mr. Bean, you either find it gut-bustingly hilarious or aggravating to sit through. While Excellent Adventure is an technically better film, Bogus Journey is much more memorable and fun even if it does overstay it’s welcome in the third act. When it came to Face The Music I thought it would be a self-aware comedy about a mature Bill and Ted who have to revert to their old ways to save the universe. Instead we got yet another pure Bill & Ted adventure and I have to say, third time’s the charm.
If there’s one thing Bill & Ted Face the Music excels at, it’s bringing these dated, comical characters to 2020 and actually making it work. It’s one of the rare sequels which carries on it’s predecessor’s charm despite being made decades later. In fact out of all the reboots and sequels of old franchises, this is one is pretty high in terms of quality. It never relies on 80’s or early 90’s nostalgia. It quite literally feels like Bill and Ted travelled from 1991 to 2020. Director Dean Parisot clearly understands what the fans wanted and he gave it to them.
On that note, it’s a very safe movie in that regard. You could say that it doesn’t really do anything new or exciting but as someone who didn’t really care for the first two movies, this felt more enjoyable and it actually managed to get a couple laughs out from me. It’s fast-paced, energetic and funny so it’s definitely an easy viewing experience. I know for a fact, fans will absolutely adore this movie. Again, just like it doesn’t rely on nostalgia and cheap references, Face the Music actually chooses the right time to make a callback to a previous movie. There is a difference between a callback and a familiar plot point. You could look at this and call it a rehash of the first two movies but considering how the movie ends it acts like more of an homage. Think of it as Bill & Ted’s Greatest Hits.
The cast is great as expected. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are Bill and Ted, no one can replace them not even their daughters even if they do come close. Reeves and Winter’s chemistry is just as funny and exhausting as ever. Their daughters played by Bridgette Lundy-Paine and Samara Weaving respectively, do a wonderful job. I believed that they were Bill and Ted’s daughters. Lundy-Paine however blew me away, the way they copied Reeve’s mannerisms and tone of voice as Ted is nothing short of impressive. I do feel that even though Weaving did a nice job, I felt she was miscast, she wasn’t as believable. Kristen Schaal is always a joy to see, that being said I wish she was given more jokes. The star of the movie though has to be Anthony Carrigan as this insecure and constantly apologetic, killer robot who just wants a friend. He was by far and away the highlight of the movie for me.
Overall Bill & Ted Face the Music is exactly what you expected it to be. It’s the same wacky adventures with the same goofy characters and of course the universe is at stake. If you’re a Bill & Ted fan, you will most probably love this. If you are looking for something to watch but you haven’t seen the first two movies, it also works as a stand-alone movie since it is basically retelling the first two movies. I wouldn’t go out of my way to revisit it but if it was on, I wouldn’t mind rewatching parts of it. All of this being said, when it comes to how hit or miss 2020 is with movies, this is actually pretty good.