Bill And Ted Face the Music is – I figured before I watched it – certainly a film that’s a curiosity, but a lot has been riding on it because it’s been 29 years since even the sequel was released.
1988’s Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure is certainly a classic, but 1991’s Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey was a little flat by comparison, even though there was a nice comic turn from William Sadler as the Grim Repear, and it was a bit weird to get to grips with that after having seen him play the maniacal baddie Col. Stuart in 1990 summer blockbuster Die Hard 2: Die Harder, a film I’ve watched more than any other. It was also a little off that Bogus Journey was filmed in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio rather than Excellent Adventure‘s widescreen vista of 2.35:1… and that’s what we have with this third entry.
The plot, such that it is, for Movie No.3 is that Bill & Ted (Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves) were told they would one day write a song that would unite the world, yet despite trying, it only led to them breaking up and going their separate ways. This leads to time folding in on itself and famous figures from history disappearing, and reappearing in other times and places. However, the Wyld Stallyns are now back together in the now so they can perform at a wedding, as Missy’s (Amy Stoch, again) now married to Ted’s younger brother, Deacon (Beck Bennett), instead of his Dad (Hal Landon Jr, again). Well, I did warn you about “the plot, such that it is”.
Sadly, George Carlin – who played Rufus in the first two films – left us 2008, so his daughter, Kelly (Kristen Schaal), pops up to give the lads their mission, taking them to San Dimas, California but in the year 2720. However, Mr Carlin does appear in what amounts to part-digisation in hologram form of his performance in the first movie, and part-someone doing an impression of his voice as he demonstrates the phone booth that he first used all that time ago, and that individual is Piotr Michael, whoever that is. Plus, it’s so brief that it’s clearly thrown in as a token gesture and not much of a tribute to the man.
How will they get the song that they require? By stealing it from themselves, which will take them into the future by using the old phone box, and a typical movie McGuffin leads to the daughters joining them to help them, while musicians brought together in this include Mozart, Jimi Hendrix, Louis Armstrong and flautist Ling Lun, who I’ve since learned was the legendary founder of music in ancient China, and was actually male, although they’re portrayed as a female in this film.
But how does it come together as a film? Badly. Schaal is no Carlin – and just fannies around in a ditzy style, so she may as well not be there; and the acting from the daughters, Thea (Samara Weaving – Ready Or Not) and Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine), comes across as forced as they try to act like they’re chips off the old blocks, whereas the medieval babes appear briefly in a couples therapy scene – and before you ask, no, neither of the actresses are those from the original movie. In fact, the actresses changed again for the second film as well. It also has little of the wit, and none of the charm, of the original, and Sadler, especially, is just turning up for the cash.
Initially, I would’ve liked to have seen this third entry in the series on the big screen, but while the global pandemic has changed a lot of things, including putting this film back a fair bit. As such, it was released in the US on August 28th in both cinemas and on the internet, but the UK has to wait until September 23rd for a theatrical outing. Well, I wasn’t waiting almost 4 weeks…
Overall, this film is far from excellent. The main problem is that it feels like someone’s thrown money at the two leads to come back together and make another Bill & Ted movie, but they forgot to write anything particularly interesting, and despite the brief 92-minute running time (or, 82 minutes before the end credits begin), the longer it goes on, the more I just wanted it to end.
It also didn’t help when they picked Dean Parisot to direct this, who also helped ruin RED 2, after we had a decent first installment in that series, yet he killed it stone dead.
And quite why a killer robot was sent to kill them, I have no idea, and since the movie was such a dud, I won’t be watching it again to find out.
Oh, and there’s also a post-credits scene…
Bill And Ted Face The Music is released in limited US cinemas now, and on the internet somewhere, but the UK release isn’t until September 23rd. It’s not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey is only available on an old DVD. Presumably, a triple-pack will come out some time in 2021.
Below, is the Weezer video for this film, and at the end, you’ll see Bill and Ted turn up wearing certain T-shirts, and you can buy them from here.
Running time: 92 minutes
Release date: August 28th 2020 (US); September 23rd 2020 (UK)
Studio: Orion Pictures (US); Warner Bros (UK)
Format: 2.39:1 (2.39:1 (ARRIRAW (2.8K) (3.4K))
Director: Dean Parisot
Producers: David Haring, Scott Kroopf, Alex Lebovici, Steve Ponce, Ed Solomon
Screenplay: Chris Matheson, Ed Solomon
Music: Mark Isham
Ted: Keanu Reeves
Bill: Alex Winter
Kelly: Kristen Schaal
Thea: Samara Weaving
Billie: Brigette Lundy-Paine
Death: William Sadler
Dennis Caleb McCoy: Anthony Carrigan
Elizabeth: Erinn Hayes
Joanna: Jayma Mays
Chief Logan: Hal Landon Jr
Deacon: Beck Bennett
Himself: Kid Cudi
Missy: Amy Stoch
The Great Leader: Holland Taylor
Dr Taylor Wood: Jillian Bell
Himself: Dave Grohl
Jimi Hendrix: DazMann Still
Louis Armstrong: Jeremiah Craft
Ling Lun: Sharon Gee
Grom: Patty Anne Miller
Rufus Hologram: George Carlin (archive footage)
Voice of Rufus: Piotr Michael
First Noble: Shoshana Bean
Second Noble: Sharon K London
Lead Scientist: Al Vicente
Jesus / Young Ted: Jared Bankens
Stupid Demon: Ed Solomon
Ugly Demon: Chris Matheson
Head Technician: Kelly Carlin
Clete: Mickey Gooch Jr
Young Bill: Billy Slaughter
Babe Ruth: Reece Loustalot
George Washington: William Harris
Queen Elizabeth: Kimberly Stockton
Noble: Christian Scott
Cleopatra: Bridget Andrews
Buddha: Artis Burney
Josephine Baker: Kharismisa Morris
Gandhi: Ned Yousef
Indira Gandhi: Eliana Ruiz
Kubla Khan: Tommie Wong
Amelia Earhart: Lindy Ariff
Frida: Diana Barnes
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.