Bill & Ted Face the Music Movie Review
Thirty years after Bill and Ted went on an excellent adventure, the dudes are back in Bill & Ted Face the Music, a movie no one I know was asking for. Having now watched Bill & Ted Face the Music, it’s safe to say it’s best to leave this franchise to history.
There’s a reason why comedy sequels released long after the original rarely work: the humor no longer lands, because societal tastes have evolved or the original audience has moved on and matured. The late 80s/early 90s was peak for dude/idiot humor, from the franchise at hand to everything Pauly Shore was in.
That was a long time ago, though.
There are probably diehard Bill & Ted fans out there, and they may relish in this “what are the morons up to now?” update, but I’m not one of them: the only thing I remember about the original, which was released when I was seven, was that it entailed time travel, a phone booth, and Keanu Reeves.
Even still, Bill & Ted Face the Music feels familiar… a little too familiar. And it feels like a movie made 30 years ago, for audiences 30 years ago, only with older versions of Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, who presumably was blackmailed into returning to this franchise. The guys fit into their roles like old gloves, and their idiotic-yet-earnest demeanors still largely work. The plot has them traveling through time to save the universe, sparring with future versions of themselves while their daughters go about grabbing famous musicians from the past.
That’d be all fine and good… if the movie were funny.
Bill & Ted Face the Music starts off amusing enough as we discover very little has changed with the two, and that their marriages are in trouble because the pair are inseparable. But once the novelty of their return wears off, director Dean Parisot (who made a classic in Galaxy Quest and nothing else of note) and original writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon reveal they didn’t put a ton of thought into actually entertaining their audience, whoever that may be. While there are some inspired moments scattered throughout, the movie jumps from one scene to the next unable to carry a joke, let alone land one. It doesn’t take great advantage of its time traveling plot, either, failing to capitalize on its introduction to several historical figures.
In a year where there has been very little to get excited for, it’s understandable why some have looked to Bill & Ted Face the Music as salvation. Sadly, it’s not. It’s not even worth your time. Or any time.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.