Not quite an excellent adventure, but a much-needed one.
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Bill and Ted. It has been a long time since we heard about those two, hasn’t it? They’ve been on an excellent adventure, and they followed that up with a bogus one. Now, as older men with wives and children and an unfulfilled destiny, Bill and Ted have to go on one final adventure, in Bill & Ted Face the Music.
Starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winters, Bill & Ted Face the Music is a film about the epilogue of Bill and Ted and how their lives didn’t quite turn out how they had expected.
After writing the song that would unite humanity, Bill and Ted and their band found fleeting fame and fortune. However, the song did not unite the world and now 29 years later they’re facing a cataclysmic event, the destruction of all time and space.
Bill & Ted Face the Music is a great film. I don’t know if I’ve been happier in a cinema for a long time. I say this because the cast of this film are brilliant. Reeves and Winter have not missed a beat. It may be close to 30 years since they shared the screen as the infamous band known as Wyld Stallyns, but watching this film you’d feel like it had been 30 minutes. You feel like they’ve grown up together, from children to men, and we’ve been on that journey with them, and it’s warm and familiar.
A great addition to this family dynamic is their daughters Theadora (Samara Weaving) and Wilhelmina (Brigette Lundy-Paine). These two idolise their fathers and have the same bond which garnered such adoration from audiences decades ago. Weaving and Paine are brilliant supporting acts and embody the next generation in a compelling manner.
Building the band in Bill & Ted Face the Music
Bill & Ted Face the Music is a fascinating movie. One of the critics that I saw the film with said it was an interesting experiment, a comedy with no jokes. I know they meant it as an insult, and even though I enjoyed the movie I found myself agreeing with them. Not for the reasons you might think, however. Though this movie is billed as a comedy I would see it as something more.
The humour of the movie isn’t over the top, it isn’t smacking you in the face with slapstick comedy. It’s telling a story about two men who travel through space and time in a phone box. They are surrounded by weird and wonderful characters and not everyone will find them funny but those do will have a good laugh.
For example, in the movie, Bill and Ted are chased across time by a robot that is tasked with killing them. It looks menacing and has all the bells and whistles of a killing machine but, whenever it does kill, it starts to breakdown and panic. Now not everyone will find this funny but I did. Along with the robot, we also have the reoccurring future incarnations of Bill and Ted, who become increasingly ludicrous as Bill and Ted travel across time to try and stop the Apocalypse.
These moments are where Reeves and Winter shine. Reeves, in particular, has weirdly transcendent moments with his other selves and they work. The reason being Winter and Reeves sell these moments so convincingly with their performance because these are characters they clearly adore.
Not everything about Bill & Ted Face the Music works, unfortunately, far from it. Even though I enjoy this movie I can’t look past the shoddy special effects. When the climax hits in the third act it’s not nearly as clean as you’d hope. There is a lot of blurred imagery and J.J. Abrams style lens flare to hide some of the worse cases. It’s a shame because these characters deserve a lot better for what could potentially be their final gig.
There is also the plot of the movie. Half the film follows Bill and Ted and the other half follows the kids, and the kid’s story is beat for beat a replica of the previous movies. I won’t go further in-depth with their story but if you’ve seen a Bill & Ted movie you know what their journey will entail. And then there’s the third act which you will see coming from a mile away. It’s a real shame and it did take away from my enjoyment.
When all is said and done I really enjoyed Bill & Ted Face the Music. For all its flaws, and there are many, it’s enjoyable for the simple fact that these two figures and those around them are fun, uncomplicated individuals that will put a smile on your face. And that is what we need right now.
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