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article imageReview: ‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ is excellent to each viewer Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Aug 29, 2020 in Entertainment
‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ is an amusing venture into the future of the enthusiastic duo, while their daughters travel to the past for musical inspiration.
More often than not, our favourite movies are those that can be watched over and over again without losing their charm. It doesn’t necessarily make them cinematic accomplishments or the best movie of the year, but it means their ability to entertain us is enduring. Trying to recapture that appeal in a sequel is tricky business – especially if it’s decades later. Thirty-one years ago, audiences were introduced to Ted Theodore Logan and Bill S. Preston, Esquire as they travelled through time to pass high school history and one-day save the future. In Bill & Ted Face the Music, they’re still waiting for that crucial moment when their music will unite the world and the future is growing impatient.
Twenty-five years ago, Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted’s (Keanu Reeves) band, Wyld Stallyns, performed at the Grand Canyon; now, they can barely attract an audience. But they’re still plucking away, learning new instruments and trying to write the song that will fulfill their destiny. Their wives, Elizabeth (Erinn Hayes) and Joanna (Jayma Mays), are growing tired of their stagnation, while their daughters, Thea (Samara Weaving) and Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine), inherited their love of music and worship their fathers. One day, the inseparable pair is visited by Rufus’ daughter, Kelly (Kristen Schaal), who brings important news from the future — they’ve identified the exact moment Bill and Ted will save the world. With time counting down, the uninspired duo travel to the future in search of a version of themselves that already composed the prophesised song, while their daughters travel to the past to collect history’s greatest musicians to help their dads write it.
Most of the entire original cast returned, which generates an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. Even the late George Carlin has a fitting cameo and William Sadler reprises his role as an overly-invested Death. Reeves and Winter slip back into their respective characters seamlessly, portraying the laid back and slightly dense besties with the same good-natured enthusiasm. However, this time they have the added pleasure of playing different versions of themselves. These transformations include wigs, fat suits and full-on prosthetics, creating convincing variations of Bill and Ted that have varying feelings about their former selves. Weaving and Lundy-Paine are chips off the old block, though their performances aren’t exact replicas of their older counterparts. For one, the girls appear to have gotten their brains from their moms so their quest for great musicians is well-informed and not quite so directionless.
It’s difficult living up to a film beloved by so many, but this second sequel does a good job of evoking everything that was great about its predecessors — even if it could never entirely measure up. The unfolding of two parallel time adventures keeps the story moving forward, though Bill and Ted’s journey tends to be the better half save for some amusing interjections by Louis Armstrong and Mozart. A trip to Hell surprisingly brings everyone and everything back together, finding the humour in what would normally be dire circumstances. One of the keys to this narrative is its unwavering positivity — nothing ever seems to get the present-day duo down, though the same can’t be said about some versions of their future selves.
From weird familial drama to a robot assassin with issues of insecurity (Anthony Carrigan), the film consistently delivers the laughs without ever compromising its identity or foundation of feel-good entertainment. There’s definitely a sense that they may have been testing the waters for a reboot featuring Thea and Billie, which probably wouldn’t be advisable based on their impact on this film, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. In the meantime, Bill and Ted is exactly the fun-loving pair we need… right up to their post-credit appearance.
Director: Dean Parisot
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter and Kristen Schaal
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