Bill & Ted Face the Music

30 years later. Can’t believe the first one came out in 1989! Many who enjoyed the first one were wondering if the original dumb and dumber type humour would translate to today. I am here to say that if you enjoyed the first then you will largely not be disappointed with 2020’s addition to the series.

2020….who could have predicted that it would be such a poop storm?!? No one predicted all the bad things that have happened. Mass shootings. Pandemic. Hurricanes. Massive wildfires. Riots. Police killing black people for no reason. Trump getting worse and worse. Planes shot down or crashing. Brexit. Murder hornets. Huge explosion in Beirut. Floods. Earthquakes. Kobe Bryant’s tragic death.We are not even in September yet, folks! Why I bring up all this death and pestilence is that the Bill & Ted films all deal with time travel. Well, wisely much of this film does not take place in 2020.

Being middle-aged and married with kids you would think that this would have changed Bill (Alex Winter – The Borrowers, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey) and Ted (Keanu Reeves – The Matrix, Speed). No way! They are pretty much still the same. As bonded as ever much to the chagrin of their wives, Elizabeth (Erinn Hayes – The Watch, Rumor Has It…) and Joanna (Jayma Mays – from television’s Glee). The two just don’t get it. So much so that when their wives ask to go to couples therapy they go together. Dr. Taylor Wood (Jillian Bell – Rough Night, 22 Jump Street) definitely has her work cut out for her.

But that is not the focus here. Once again these two average guys from San Dimas, California are going to have to save the world. Rufus’s daughter Kelly (Kristen Schaal – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, The Muppets – 2011) arrives on Earth with that message from her mother, The Breat Leader (Holland Taylor – Legally Blonde, Gloria Bell). It has to be done through music. Or more precisely, they are going to have to write and play a song which will save humans by bringing us all together. That is how good the song has to be.

The hard part of that is going to be that they no longer write music. They are mega fans, and have passed on their love of music to their now teenage daughters Thea (Samara Weaving – Guns Akimbo, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine – Downsizing, Irrational Man), but Wyld Stallyns is no more.

So, to save mankind they are going to have to do it again. Time travel, I mean. To the near future. While they are doing that in an effort to find a time where they have written the perfect song. Easier said than done as Bill and Ted in the future are not doing so well.

Being very much like their fathers, Thea and Billie get involved in this. They do some time traveling of their own and start assembling the best musicians ever, like Jimi Hendrix (DazMann Still – appeared in episodes of Bull and Manifest), Louis Armstrong (Jeremiah Craft – from television’s Luke Cage), Mozart (Daniel Dorr – Fury, 20th Century Women), and Kid Cudi (himself), so they will be ready to play the best song ever written.

A mixture of modern and nostalgia permeates this film. Director Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, Red 2) understands what the audience wants who comes to this film. It is filled with silliness and bits. Moments to laugh at the inaneness. With a skeleton of a story there to hold it all together. Kinda.

Corny, with only minimal intelligence and very predictable. Those words might mean death for another type of film. Not here. Bill & Ted films have always been what they are. Never pretending or aspiring to be anything else. Most fans will say it is “Most excellent!!”

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