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Movie Review: “Bill & Ted Face the Music” is Not Going to be Everyone’s Jam

It’s been over 30 years since we first met Bill Preston (Alex Winters) and Ted Logan (Keanu Reeves). In their first adventure, they had to travel back in time to pass a history class. In their second trip, it was a mission to win the battle of the bands. Now they are back to fulfill the prophecy of saving the universe with their rock and roll in “Bill & Ted Face the Music”. Too bad their band, the Wyld Stallions, is pretty much washed up and haven’t made a good song in years.

Bill and Ted are now middle-aged men still married to their wives, Joanna and Elizabeth (now played by Erin Hayes and Jayma Mays), and fathers to two teenage girls, Thea and Billie (Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine). The two still have hearts of gold, but are more clueless than ever. It seems as though their daughters take after their fathers.

As the plot begins, Bill and Ted are assigned by Kelly (Kristen Schaal), daughter of George Carlin’s time-traveling tour guide, to write a song that will save the world from temporal collapse. Only problem; they only have 75 minutes to do it. To make the deadline, the two dudes set out to travel in time to find versions of themselves that have already written the song so they can plagiarize their own work. Meanwhile, their daughters embark on a parallel quest to put together the best back-up band ever, which includes past icons like Jimi Hendrix (DazMann Still) and Kid Cudi, as himself.

It pains me to say I was not the biggest fan of this film. And yes, I enjoyed the first two movies. Don’t get me wrong. The entire cast does a great job with the material they are given; and it is so wonderful to see so many of the original cast back together again, especially, William Sadler as Death. Even a new addition, like Anthony Carrigan as Dennis Caleb McCoy had hilarious one-liners.  The issue here is the script.

The premise is solid and simple, which with I have no problem. It’s the dialogue and in-between that is so ridiculous. Even though the film is around the same runtime as its predecessors, it feels rushed due to the multiple characters and chaos. The film is just all over the place.

By the time the movie finally finds its rhythm, it’s basically over. There’s an over-the-top ending that has a decent but surface-level message about how we should all try to be more excellent to each other, but it’s not worth the hour and 20 minutes of disarray it took to get there.

Unfortunately, “Bill & Ted Face the Music” didn’t capture the same whimsy and charm we’ve seen before. I’ll admit, even if I knew the film was bad I’d still want to see these guys finish out their journey. So that being said, if you’re a newbie to the franchise, I suggest you skip this one. But, if you are a fan of the original films you may be too curious not to see if, and how they finally save the world.

Rating: 2/5

“Bill & Ted Face the Music” is available On Demand and in Select Theaters.

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