Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)

I was excited to hear about one more Bill & Ted movie.  In both cases, it’s said that the title duo save the world by releasing a song.  Exactly what that meant and how that played out were left to the viewers’ imaginations.  It was a lot of pressure, to say the least.  Someone  comes from the future and says that the fate of the known universe  rests on your musical skills.

As the title of this movie implies, it’s time to see what it is that actually brings the planets into alignment.  With the death of George Carlin during the intervening years, Rufus only makes a cameo.  It’s up to his daughter, Kelly, to move things along, historically speaking.  You see, it’s only a few days until William and Theodore have to actually perform.  They have no song.  The band has fallen apart.  Their respective marriages aren’t far behind.  At least their daughters  have some talent.

To their advantage, they have access to a time machine.  They realize that they can go ahead and get the song from their future selves.  Working against them is a killer robot sent by the very future that they’re supposed to save.  Oh, and they only have a few hours to write the song, get the band back together and actually perform this unwritten melody, all while the cosmos, in its entirety, is falling apart.

It’s a bold premise, to say the least.  I guess after the first two movies, you need something a little different.  If you haven’t seen the first two movies, it’s possible to watch this one as a stand-alone movie.  There are a few callbacks to the first two movies that you’ll miss, like Ted’s father denying that the events of the second movie could have happened.  If you have seen the first two movies and are on the fence about this one, there are worse ways to spend a few hours.

I have to admit that there was a different feeling to this movie.  Many of the major characters were back, although it seems that the franchise doesn’t have a problem with recasting.  (Outside of Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, I think only one actor has been in all three movies.)  It seems like the movie was made to maybe recapture some of the nostalgia from the late 198s and early 1990s.

True to form, though, there’s a lot of fun to the movie, especially if you don’t think too hard about it.  (I mean, how do you make a franchise out of a time-traveling phone booth?  Who does that?)  The thing that caught my attention was that none of the future versions of Bill or Ted had the song, even though they should have.  It wasn’t until the distant future that they got anything.

True, this may be because the universe is falling apart.  There is that.  I think it’s meant more to be a fun movie with characters that we’re familiar with.  I could see this being something to finally tie up the franchise.  There is a certain finality to it, especially considering the post-credits scene.  There’s also a possibility of some sort of spinoff with the daughters, although I don’t really see that happening.  (I will say one thing:  I find it odd that Bill, Ted and Rufus all had daughters.)

I’m not sure where I stand now that I’ve watched the movie.  It’s not entirely excellent, but it’s not entirely bogus, either.  It’s difficult to come up with three movies that work together, so I will cut the writers a little slack.  Also, the juvenile aspect isn’t that juvenile.  I do get the sense that the music is being faced, at least on some level.  Bill and Ted are adults, but not quite grown up.  As they say, growing older is mandatory.  Growing up isn’t.


IMDb page

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