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Bill and Ted Face The Music Review-A Most Bodacious Conclusion With Standout Brigette Lundy-Paine

Bill And Ted Face The Music is just the right dose of nostalgia and optimism we need right now.

The second big film to hit movie theaters Bill And Ted Face The Music is precisely as advertised. While it won’t save the movie industry singlehandedly, it will provide a dose of positivity that everyone needs right now. I’m not sure it’s worth the risk to enter a theater to see Bill And Ted but if I was going to see anyone it would be these two. It is definitely worth streaming. If you are going to go to a theater, go local.

Our San Dimas saviors and unexpected heroes finally have the conclusion they deserved. All these years later, with millions of fans old and young, it is hard to believe the Bill and Ted franchise almost never was. The beleaguered original Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure took years and significant rewrites to get off the ground. Thirty-six years later, the third movie in the series finally got made. It is absolutely an indulgent love letter to the characters and the fans who love them even if we are all so old now.

“We wouldn’t be doing this without the fans. It’s our way of saying thanks.”

Keanu Reeves

Full disclosure I am a Keanu Reeves super fan. He can essentially do no wrong in my eyes. I even once wrote much to my editor’s amusement, a lengthy article on his wonderfulness. I have loved him since his Bill and Ted days clear through Johnny Mneumonic and now as the most deadly assassin living. Hell, I even loved Chain Reaction. That being said, the first ten minutes of Bill and Ted Face The Music is rough. In large part, that is due to the sneaky age monster that gets us all. What was cute and endearing in twenty-something slacker Bill and Ted is just pathetic in fifty-something slackers. Quickly the earnest heroes find their rhythm and I fell in love all over again. It just takes a minute to remember how sweet they really are.

When we last saw Bill S. Preston Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan in Bogus Journey, they had beaten Death and saved the world from evil robot Bill and Teds. They had finally realized their goal of becoming massive rock stars. Now thirty years later Bill(Alex Winter) and Ted(Keanu Reeves) and their respective princesses played by Jayma Mays(Joanna) and Erinn Hayes(Elizabeth) are still searching for that elusive song that will unite the world. The two man-children got married, and each had a child named after their best friend naturally. Bill’s child is Thea(Samara Weaving), and Ted’s is Billie(Brigette Lundy-Paine). When we first meet up with them again, the princesses are frustrated with their husband’s lack of maturity and progress. This is the part that is hard to watch. It is hard to believe have stagnated so much. It’s definitely most heinous.

Reeves and Winter step right back into their old roles, like stepping into a pair of favorite sweatpants. It isn’t always pretty, but it feels good. Winter fares slightly better as there is still a boyish charm that allows him to be every bit the clown he was thirty years ago. Reeves struggles with this because there is too much gravity to the star now. Neo from Matrix, John Constantine, and John Wick are all weighty characters with the literal world on their shoulders.

It is hard for Reeves to shake that depth to plum the shallows as he could in 1989. Ted has changed some. The carefree rocker can’t be the accidental winner he was thirty years ago. Ted is slightly less naive and more world-weary. As much as things changed, they stayed the same. Both actors have no trouble mining their chemistry for laughs, whether it be for real versions or alt versions of Bill and Ted.

What comes across are these two actors genuinely care about each other and their fans. This is a movie made for those of us who love them. At its heart, it is a movie about two dudes who love each other and want to make the world a better place. Pure and simple, it’s ridiculous fun. Director Dean Parisot says, “The truth is, these guys love each other. This is a movie from their heart to yours.” Those who fondly remember 1989 will no doubt enjoy it.

Old jokes about Bill and Ted’s stepmom Missy, Amy Stoch, who originated the role in Bill And Ted’s Excellent Aventure and Bogus Journey, was a fun surprise. Missy, having gone through both fathers, is now married to Ted’s brother Deacon. These returning jokes and 80′ vibe of the time-traveling shenanigans only feel as old fashioned as we want them to. They aren’t outdated so much as updated retro, and that keeps in tune(pun intended) with the overall feel of the back half of the film. Old friends show up like Death(William Sadler), who has not aged a day, and even a Station shout out is made in the final act. Bill And Ted Face The Music is for the fans who have been devoted to the loveable losers for thirty years.

Once Rufus'{the late great George Carlin) daughter Kelly the always funny Kristen Schall arrives to whisk our guys back into the time travel game things pick up tremendously. All of Bill And Ted’s earlier time travel has formed inconsistencies that are causing time to fold in on itself. They have just 77 minutes to find and perform the world-saving song before the world ends. They aren’t just trying to pass history or be stars anymore. The perfect song will harmonize the world and bring everything back to the correct time and place across multiple realities. Complicating things, Rufus’ wife has sent a robot, hilariously stilted Anthony Carrigan, to kill Bill and Ted.

Bill And Ted Face The Music

As tough to watch as the first bit is, Wyld Stallyn’s daughters are a joy. While their Dads may stall a bit, the Thea and Billie are a jolt of energy. Newest Scream Queen Samara Weaving who was excellent in Ready Or Not is believable as Bill’s progeny, while Lundy-Paine channels 1989 Reeves so hard you think they might actually be related(they aren’t). The Atypical star is hands down the highlight of the film and is someone to watch moving forward. They are both everything we want as parents and as Bill and Ted fans. Thea and Billie are better versions of their fathers. They are music savvy and more adept at traversing time than their fathers ever were.

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While their dads are creating bootstraps all over the place and discussing Quantum Entanglement, their daughters go on an adventure of their own. They search for famous musicians throughout time to make that perfect song that will unite us all. Their hapless fathers knew almost nothing about music in the first film, but their daughters are walking encyclopedias. They know where to look and who to capture to make beautiful music.

Always a favorite prank, the other Bill and Ted’s our boys encounter provide room for Reeves and Winter to show they still have comedic chops. They are funnier versions of Bill and Ted prime in this third movie. The overpumped prison personas are muscle-bound meatheads who are deadly in one reality, and the paunchy aging rockstars who are about ten years and thirty pounds past their prime are hysterical. Winter and Reeves admirably don’t pull any punches about aging.

Just like in the original movie, historical figures are loaded into the time machine and pushed together to make something great. The girls hunt down Jimmy Hendrix(Dazmann Still), Mozart, Ling Lun(Sharon Gee), Grom(Patty Anne Miller), Kid Cudi, and adorably cheeked Louis Armstrong played by Jeremiah Craft. Craft who you saw in Netflix’s Luke Cage is the Billy The Kid leader that unites the other historical figures. In the triumphant final act, all the magic of the first two films came back.

If you love Bill and Ted, see it in a local theater if you feel comfortable or stream it anywhere VOD Friday. Know going in, if you remember seeing the movies when they first premiered you will feel old. Our guys, although still handsome, look their age. That’s not a bad thing, but it does make you realize you aren’t as young as you thought you were.

The beginning beats feel more sad than cute, but all that falls away as the film finds it’s groove and captures the charm that made it the most excellent franchise ever. The final act rediscovers all the magic the original had. It’s a feel-good story of a band that can save the world. In the end, the same warm-hearted fist-pumping happiness I felt with the first two films came back to me. We all could use a little optimism right now. Be good to each other and party on dudes!