Director: Dean Parisot
Starring: Alex Winter, Keanu Reeves, William Sadler, Kristen Schaal, Samara Weaving, Camila Cabello, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Anthony Carrigan, Erinn Hayes, Jayma Mays, Holland Taylor, Kid Cudi, and Jillian Bell
Before he avenged puppies, dodged bullets, or kept buses above 50mph, Keanu Reeves’ breakthrough role came as Ted Theodore Logan in Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
The concept was something that wouldn’t have made it past the pitch stage in modern Hollywood: two dimwitted garage rockers with a huge destiny time travel in a magic phone booth in order to finish their history report.
It was offbeat, it was funny, it spawned two TV shows and a whole sub-genre of copycat comedies.
The first film and its sequel Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey have retained cult followings, and a third film has been discussed since the 90’s, but gathered momentum in the last decade with Reeves’ post-John Wick resurgence leading to this third adventure, which hits cinemas and On Demand this week.
Just because you want a sequel, it doesn’t mean you need it
Nostalgia is all well and good, but as Anchorman and Zoolander have taught us, just because you want a sequel, doesn’t mean it will be worth waiting for.
Can you still Party On in your Fifties?
Bill And Ted Face The Music finds the excellent duo (Reeves and Alex Winter) in a rut.
Their stardom has waned over the years, and the pair find themselves jobless and in marital strife thanks to a quarter of a century obsessed with finding the song that will unite the world.
Just as they are about to call it quits, Kelly (Kristen Schaal), the daughter of their old friend Rufus (George Carlin), arrives from the future to tell them that they must write the song that will unite the world by 7.17pm, or the universe as we know it will cease to exist.
Unsure of where to start, Bill & Ted move forward in time to see if future versions of themselves have the answers, while their equally excellent daughters Billie and Thea (Brigette Lundy-Paine and Samara Weaving) assemble history’s greatest band to help their dads out.
They’ve put thought into this Bill And Ted sequel
Unlike other sequels, where demand seemed to come before an idea, it seems those who have been pushing to make this third film have really thought about what they want it to be.
From the tributes to the late Carlin (Kelly is, touchingly, named after the actor’s daughter), to the fact that the pair named their daughters after each other, and that they are as naïve and listless as their parents.
Everything seems thought out and authentic to where these characters should be.
Once we’re all caught up, the film follows two journeys – Bill and Ted meeting increasingly desperate versions of themselves (the prison scene featured in the trailer is as glorious as it looks), and the daughters getting the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Louis Armstrong, and Kid Cudi to come together.
The first timeline is exactly what you want – Reeves and Winter trying to fix things and somehow making it worse.
Their innocence is still charming years later, with both actors slipping back into their characters like an old pair of shoes.
Good new additions to the cast
Usually, the introduction of a next-generation is an alarm bell for any sequel, as no-one really wants to see a torch passed.
However, Lundy-Paine and Weaving are superb additions to the franchise.
As naïve and enthusiastic as their elder co-stars, they have a fun rapport, with Lundy-Paine offering a pretty accurate Keanu Reeves impression.
Of the supporting cast, Anthony Carrigan (TV show Barry) strikes gold as a neurotic killer robot named Dennis, who may become just as treasured in Bill & Ted lore as Death (William Sadler), the beloved sidekick who makes a late return to help the boys out.
Bill And Ted Face The Music will probably mean nothing to people who aren’t familiar with the original films, but making new fans doesn’t seem to be the mission here.
Having already experienced a disappointing sequel (Bogus Journey was poorly received at the time), this threequel strives to give fans everything they could ask for, culminating with a sweet message that couldn’t be more needed at a time like this.
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