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Review: 'Bill & Ted Face The Music' Is A Most Excellent Sequel

by Greg Vellante
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Aug 28, 2020
Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in 'Bill & Ted Face the Music'
Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in 'Bill & Ted Face the Music'  

The majority of the time, films like "Bill & Ted Face the Music" feel like its actors are playing dress-up. It doesn't seem so far off as when Mike Myers and Dana Carvey just so happen to be on the same episode of "Saturday Night Live," so you're sure there must be a "Wayne's World" sketch on the horizon. It's a callback to another time, and it often appeals most to those who were in their youths during said time.

This long overdue third entry in the "Bill & Ted" series is no exception in terms of its nostalgic callbacks. In that matter, it is what it is. But as for its actors simply jumping back into their characters in order to conjure up a quick buck and a few laughs, "Face the Music" is far more than that. No, surprisingly, this is a damn good movie in its own right. The fact that it's a continuation of a comedic franchise I unabashedly adore is a bonus, as it surely will be for countless others.

As it goes with most threequels, your enjoyment of "Bill & Ted Face the Music" will certainly depend on your interest and relation to the first two films. That's a given. So if you enter the film in the same boat I was, you're bound to be pleasantly surprised. If you don't, prepare to be relentlessly confused. Once again, we are showered with the dimwitted, "most triumphant" antics of the eponymous characters (Alex Winter as Bill, Keanu Reeve as Ted).

They're now in middle age, still with their medieval wives, Elizabeth (Erinn Hayes) and Joanna (Jayma Mays), and now the proud fathers of two daughters. For Bill, we're given Samara Weaving as Thea, a perfect clone of Bill's mannerisms and speech patterns. But it's nothing compared to Brigette Lundy-Paine's performance as Billie, Ted's daughter, who matches Reeves' physicality so well that at times it's almost jarring.

As is evident by the girls' names and the fact that they refer to Bill and Ted as "Dads," it's made immediately clear that Bill and Ted's symbiotic relationship hasn't lessened much in 25 years. In fact, when their wives suggest couples therapy, Bill and Ted make the appointment together, expressing to their wives that "we love you" rather than each saying, "I love you."

There's also the fact that in the first two films, Bill and Ted were part of a prophecy stating that one day they would create a song that would unite the entire world in music. That hasn't happened yet, and Bill and Ted certainly feel like they're at the end of their rope. Then Kristen Schaal shows up as Kelly, the daughter of Rufus (George Carlin, from the original film), and lets Bill and Ted know that their destiny song is now responsible for saving the entire fabric of reality, time and space.

Oh, and they have 77 minutes to write it.

Thus begins the journey of "Bill & Ted Face the Music," which is so silly, corny, fun, and enjoyable that it perfectly matches the tone of the first two films without ever sacrificing its newfound ingenuity and slightly-more-adult tones. It's not really worth delineating the adventure here, as part of what makes it so delightful is how unexpected certain plot points end up being. With amusing cameos and goofy detours, as well as a magnetic connection between its two protagonists, this is exactly what a "Bill & Ted" film should be. Fans should be monumentally pleased.

And the finale of the film is perhaps the most bodacious moment of the entire series. Maybe it's just the times we're living in (it definitely is), but the idea of a song that unites the entire universe in music got me a little verklempt. When the music is finally faced, it's a beautiful moment.

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