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Bill & Ted Face the Music Film Review (2020) | A most heinous missed opportunity

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Today i’m going to be reviewing Bill and Ted face the music. A film with this much nostalgia attached to it is bound to disappoint some people. It definitely has some most excellent moments so hold your guitar and hear me out.

Bill & Ted Face the Music Film Review And My Opinion

Bill and Ted face the music catches up with our heroes in the present year. They are now middle-aged men still desperately trying to write that one song they were told, would one day save the universe. When that day comes, they still haven’t written it. They devise a plan to steal it from their future selves. Meanwhile their daughters Billy and their travel back through time to put together an awesome collection of musicians to help their dads create the song.

Alex winter and Keanu Reeves are back as the iconic duo and are a delight to watch. Their dialogue boasts the signature vernacular from the previous instalments. There are plenty of fun exchanges to quote. Their daughters played by samara weaving and Bridget Lundy Payne fit in well. They managed to create believable modernized versions of their on-screen dads.

The rest of the cast was relatively successful in matching the quirky style of the film. I particularly enjoyed Holland Taylor’s performance as the great leader. The OG actors that reprise their roles such as death chief, Logan and even missy. However some of the newer additions to the cast such as kit cuddy and Anthony Karrigan had performances that fell quite flat. Though i blame this somewhat on their rather strange roles. Kid kudi plays himself and spends most of the film spouting complicated time travel terminology that is altogether ignored. Karrigan plays a terminator style robot with a twist but is also ignored as a plot point. This made their characters feel pretty unnecessary especially as if the other characters don’t care about them then why we should.

The VFX gets the biggest upgrade in the series. It really makes use of the capabilities of today’s technology in creating vast and detailed worlds. The future is as bodacious as it was in the first film and there is much fun to be had in seeing the various future versions of Bill and Ted. That said there is certainly a lovable roughness to the basic VFX of the first two films. The 80s aesthetic is hard to beat. However they didn’t go too far with the updates here.

Just like will smith in Gemini man they could have come face to face with younger computer generated versions of themselves from the 80s. I am glad they didn’t do this as it would have spoiled things entirely. Now for the missing opportunity that i reference in my title. It brings us all the way back to the plot. The two storylines of Bill and Ted and Billy and Thea barely intersect for the entire film. It seems the writers were so preoccupied with repeating the successes of the previous instalments that they ignored. The things, i believe would have made a much stronger and unique story.

The father daughter relationships. In excellent adventure Bill and Ted’s goal is simple to ace their history presentation. In bogus journey they want to win the battle of the bands. In both films they have to overcome a number of obstacles to get to that goal. There are no clear sub-plots and very few moments where the audience is kept away from them. In face the music Bill and Ted need to write the song to save the universe. Billy and Thea’s subplot took us away from our titular heroes. Because of this Billy and Thea felt simultaneously important as the daughters of Bill and Ted. And unimportant because their mission felt disconnected from the main mission. Especially in the finale, when i felt cheated by just how throwaway their efforts turned out to be.

I understand the thought process of conceiving a film so long after the originals and deciding to deliver more of the same content. It is a safe option and the main mission actually makes a lot of sense in finalizing the trilogy, as it fulfils the prophecy that was first introduced in the first film. However there is so much more potential in making a sequel so long after its predecessors. What makes Richard Linklater’s cross-decade films such as boyhood and the before series so captivating is seeing the same characters but at a different stage in their life. Discussing relevant issues and topics for their age and seeing how their relationships have evolved based on how their lives have gone. Face the music has some of this.

There’s the therapy session Bill and Ted go to with their wives. The short exchange between dads and daughters in hell, plus some smaller moments. Lines such as what may be my favorite line in the film when Ted says to Bill “i’m tired dude”. It is totally bogus of the writers to have given us these meaningful scenes and moments.  Then separaTed the family for so much of the film.

Overall as comforting as the nostalgia is Bill and Ted face the music suffers the heinous curse of the sequel. If less time was spent regurgitating previous plot lines and more time was dedicaTed to developing the most triumphant family dynamics, then this film would have made a most atypical and resplendent addition to the franchise.

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