Two of the most famous dudes of all time return for the long awaited threequel in the Bill and Ted franchise. It’s a mad, zany adventure that feels right at home and even with a 25 year plus hiatus, this sequel manages to avoid the likely pitfalls so often stumbled upon when attempting to revive cult characters. Which is excellent.
Now in present day 2020, Bill Preston (Keanu Reeves) and Ted Logan (Alex Winter) face a new threat to the world as we know it. Divorce. Well, almost. Long serving princess wives, Joanna and Elizabeth have stuck by their men after all these years but, it’s no easy feat watching on as their idiotic counterparts hopelessly thrash away, trying to create a song that will unite the world. How much longer can it go on?! About 90 minutes actually. To kick things in to gear, B & T receive a visit from a familiar face where they’re subsequently warned that should they not manage to create the world uniting ballad before 7:17pm, then all of space and time will collapse as the universe plunges into darkness. In many ways, given the year we’ve all had, I don’t think any of us would bat an eye were we to hear such a thing broadcast on the evening news but in B & T’s reality, it’s pretty gloomy stuff. And so who better to undertake such a task than our totally tubular dudes!
Face The Music lends a fresh dynamic this time around as none other than Bill and Ted’s own daughters tag along for some time travelling capers; Thea Preston (Samara Weaving) and Billie Logan (Brigette Lundy-Paine) play teen versions of their iconic fathers, largely successfully, but lack some of the natural chemistry that their father’s share. In fairness, it’s a hard act to follow and so I give credit to the filmmakers as they could have just as easily opted for picking two male off-springs to identically mimic their predecessors which would have felt perhaps a little cheap.
In order to come up with the song that will unite the world, our tubular dudes head forward through time to locate their future selves, while their daughters simultaeneously go backwards through history in search of legendary musicians. It’s utterly bonkers and frequently hilarious. There’s plenty to enjoy as each group encounter sticky situations, offering up the laughs but there’s a ‘maturity’ to this threequel too. The film wisely acknowledges it’s now middle-aged actors and accommodates the intended audience. It also understands that the previous films and it’s successes were made over two decades ago and thus shows a self awareness that pays dividends.
Bill and Ted Face The Music is a nostalgic blast. It manages to honour what made the first two films so successful with it’s goofy humour and dimwitted, loveable characters but without stubbornly staying stuck in the past. The introduction of their daughters compliments the leads, giving a fresh perspective as the ladies flex their budding dynamics. The potential for more adventures seems likely. If you’re a fan of the first two, you’ll no doubt love the third. If not, just remember to be excellent to each other!