'Bill & Ted Face the Music' Review
DUDE! The Keanussance continues! “Bill & Ted Face the Music” is now the third Reeves franchise to reach three installments. This one comes 31-years after the “Excellent Adventure” and 29 after the “Bogus Journey” he took with co-star Alex Winter.
The two reprise their iconic roles — but they’re certainly not teens anymore. And so “Face the Music” has a slightly more grown-up tone than the previous two films, but that’s to be expected. And early on it’s a little tough for Reeves to return to the laid-back, surfer dude persona. He tries to resurrect Ted’s vocal inflections, but often we get John Wick raspiness instead.
However, fans of the original two movies (and the 1990 Hanna-Barbera spinoff cartoon) won’t be disappointed with “Face the Music”. Director Dean Parisot (“Galaxy Quest”, “Red 2”) and writers Chris Matheson & Ed Solomon put a great deal of care into this script, which, again, has a lot of fun with time and time travel. There are numerous nods to the previous two chapters, including parallel storylines and smart references.
Things do get a little wacky at times, but this is absolutely not a throwaway threequel. No one phones it in. Reeves and Winter are more than game, and really get into a nice rhythm as the movie progresses. We’re treated to more Bills & Teds than ever before. These scenes are some of the best in“Face the Music”. And this also a legacy story. A new generation of characters come into play, allowing for some emotional moments that work surprisingly well.
Surprise appearances of historical figures (sound familiar?) add to the generally positive silliness. Unfortunately, a robot who joins the fun midway brings the vibe down a bit. He’s the film’s weakest element and, frankly, is completely unnecessary.
Is “Bill & Ted Face the Music” the most excellent movie of 2020? Of course not. But I don’t think the gang could’ve done a better job of taking a vintage brand and moving it forward… backward… sideways… and into the here and now. Party On!