BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC is eerily similar to a release of a third film in a franchise that came out earlier this year, Bad Boys For Life. Both of them are my least favorite of the series thus far, but saying that is definitely non-heinous. Both films have actors that haven’t been in their roles for a long time. Both films actually have more plot than their previous entries in the series. The movies have sweet messages that are very much needed in this nightmare world we are living in right now. However, both movies are a bit awkwardly directed and maybe someone else should’ve been picked for the job, but hey, you get what you pay for, and these sequels were made on relatively smaller budgets than their first entries. But I mean, even on a small budget, it shouldn’t be THAT hard to get the same actor in dual roles in one frame of a shot, instead of doing a shit ton of shot/reverse shots…right? It sounds like a minor complaint, but considering the Bill & Ted series has to do with time travel, confronting different versions of yourself & that the previous movies were able to get both Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in one frame when they were interacting with those dual versions…doesn’t that seem a bit…unforgivable? There are so many quick cut shot/reverse shots in this it was starting to give me a bogus headache. But I digress, the rest of the movie is quite excellent, it’s well acted, it’s funny, it ends the series on a pitch perfect climax and has one of the best after credit scenes I’ve ever seen. Highly recommend that you face your wallet and that you try and take this journey or adventure whenever you’ve got the time, and if you haven’t seen any of the series yet, what are you waiting for?
This series is unique by the fact that both Bill & Ted are just lovable, dumb, clueless, yet sweet goofballs that always do their best to try and do the right thing. They don’t really get mad at anybody, they don’t hold grudges, they don’t curse anyone out or fight anyone. IMDB describes Face The Music as such: “Once told they’d save the universe during a time-traveling adventure, 2 would-be rockers from San Dimas, California find themselves as middle-aged dads still trying to crank out a hit song and fulfill their destiny.” In the third entry, they still are very much in love with their princess wives and interact and love their offspring who are just smarter girl versions of themselves (same mannerisms and all). They have spent three decades trying to save the world, and when we finally see them again, 29 years after the last movie, they haven’t given up. They are still that loyal to the cause. That’s what makes this film unique, is that any other franchise sequel would’ve had them estranged from their wives, turned them into jerks so that they could have a redemption story line, and/or be awful parents and then try to turn them into good parents by films end. Nope, none of that, their only real problem in this is that they only have seventy something minutes to write the song that saves the world, and each time they travel into the future to try and steal the song from themselves, they just get further and further from their goal it seems. It’s quite a simple story, but it is one that ties up everything from the first two films and ends the series pretty much perfectly. Speaking of writing and playing the song that is supposed to unite and save the world, everybody and their mom watching this movie knows that the screenplay writers (Ed Solomon & Chris Matheson wrote all three entries thankfully) could never ever write a good enough song to save the world, so how is this movie going to solve that realistic dilemma without cutting to black right before they play it, a cheap move that a lot of other movies would’ve done to get around that narrative problem? Don’t worry, I won’t reveal what the film does, but needless to say, I didn’t see their solution to that problem coming.
At first I was worried that Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter would’ve seemed off when they first appeared on screen, having not played those roles in 29 years. But they haven’t missed a step. They ARE Bill & Ted, and from minute one you know they are going to be the same lovable duo you grew up watching when you were a kid. I won’t reveal much of their adventure here, but needless to say, it tries to combine the adventures from the first and second movies, mix it together, and make them unique for the third, and I say that everyone pulled it off pretty well. When Reeves and Winter aren’t on screen and stealing the show, it’s the actresses that play their daughters, Samara Weaving & Brigette Lundy-Paine that do. They got all of Bill & Ted’s mannerism and ways of speaking down pat. And when all four of them aren’t on screen, Anthony Carrigan, who plays NoHo Hank on HBO’s Barry, steals it out from under everyone else. I dare not reveal who his character is, but he is the most unrecognizable one of the bunch. And other than the too many shot/reverse shots, the special effects work well enough within the context of the film (definitely better than the first two for sure), and I thought the climax was a bit visually stunning. It’s just a solid good film that maybe could’ve been perfect if they had had a different director and bigger budget. Sorry Dean Parisot, but your one great film, Galaxy Quest, will always be #1 in my heart…but then again you had more money there. Bill & Ted Face The Music is just a nice, sweet movie with a good heart that we need right now, because in 2020, unfortunately no one is excellent to each other, and people keep partying on in a bad way, trying to ignore a virus for political and selfish reasons. I can bet we are all wishing for a phone booth time machine right about now to get out of this hellhole. For now, this film will do.