Spanning four decades of pop culture, the Bill & Ted trilogy sees its completion with the movie nobody asked for but got anyway, Bill & Ted Face the Music.
Taking place a whopping 29 years after the sequel in a more politically-correct environment, the daring jokes of its predecessors (that probably wouldn’t fly in today’s climate) are swapped for a direction that caters to the whole family, quite literally. The two Wyld Stallyns Bill and Ted (Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves) embark on a familiar journey with their now grown-up daughters, Billie and Theodora (Brigette Lundy-Paine and Samara Weaving), this time to “face the music” in an adventure of most excellent proportions.
The chemistry between Reeves and Winter is as present as it has ever been with great back-and-forth between the two, and even their future selves at times. However, it is the bodacious girl-power of Billie and Thea that really captivates audiences and sets itself apart from the previous movies in the franchise. It allows Bill and Ted to shine for a final time in an encore to save all of time and space, whilst paving the way for a female Bill and Ted to carry the torch should the franchise go that route.
Face the Music ups the ante and brings more of the laughs that made the characters so lovable to 90s audiences, albeit with a little bit of fatigue and perhaps almost too much borrowing from the original movie, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The time travel trope still feels grounded and comical, and this time showcases exactly how a millennial would react to being presented with the entirety of the past just a dial tone away.
For those who loved the first two films, this glimpse into present day Bill and Ted is a nice “where are they now” moment. For a new viewer, however, it could rely a bit too heavily on that connection to Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey, making it difficult to grasp the true intensity of the situation that the rock legends face this time around.
Does the movie break any new ground? No.
Is it winning any awards? Probably not.
Did I mentally reorganise the contents of my fridge during the sitting? Certainly!
But that’s not the point, it’s a lovely little send off to fans that have stayed with the franchise since 1989 and has laughs in abundance for everyone. A real feel-good movie, Face the Music loses its footing at times but manages to saddle enough 90s gags and throwbacks to keep the meter running long enough for us to make it through to the finish.
Find out how Bill and Ted create the tune that saves the whole universe at showings from September 10, or maybe borrow a time machine.