The last time we saw Bill and Ted was way back in 1991. I’m not sure if you remember this, but 1991 was a great year for movies. Maybe one if not the biggest year of some the best action films to dramas to you name it came out in 1991.
That being, Terminator 2, Adam’s Family, Hook, City Slickers, Silence of the Lambs, the list keeps going on and one. Hell, Point Blank and My Own Private Idaho both came out that year.
1991 was the rise of Keanu Reeves one might say. But that makes you wonder just where in Keanu Reeves history do you put Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey?
I remember loving it when it came out, but then again, I was I think like 8 years old. It has been so long since I’ve seen either film, so really what I’m basing my love of the series on is a foggy nostalgic memory of it.
The Bill and Ted films were never perfect movies, but they were silly and fun. Not to mention two really enjoyable likable characters.
I also love the fact that it isn’t about what they should ever be about. In the first film, Bill and Ted are told by a traveler from the future that these two dummies, who can’t even play their instruments are going to be the saviors of the world with their music bringing everyone together, creating a utopia.
But first they need to pass their history lesson. So the movie becomes about these two dummies traveling through time to pick up these historical figures, just so they can pass a test.
Such a silly plot and I love it.
It’s so damn 80’s it hurts.
Then only a couple of years later we got a sequel. But this time it is soaked in 90’s grunge. Which is weird because Bill and Ted are metal guys, not grunge guys. But you change with the times, I guess. And right now hair metal is out of fashion and Pearl Jam is.
For the sequel, we also get more style, with cool visuals and colors that pop out at you. You also get a bizarro story line that is nothing like the first. Something you rarely see in a sequel unless you’re Gremlins 2.
Instead of pulling a Ghostbusters 2, they went all in on the crazy nature that is these two characters, killing them off in the first 10 minutes of the movie and instead of time, our two main characters are traversing through the afterlife.
That’s Gladiator 2 levels of strangeness. And man do I love this movie. This is the one I think I watched the most growing up.
It was hilarious, creepy, had robots, had morphing aliens… god, this movie had it all.
But like anything great and too original, it got really bad reviews. Of course now it is considered a cult classic, much like the original.
For years there has been talks of yet another sequel, but talk is all there ever was.
So the years went by, Keanu became an action star with The Matrix and John Wick and Alex Winter left acting to become a filmmaker.
It seemed we were never getting that sequel.
Of course we all know they did finally make it, as I’m reviewing it!
The question however is, is it any good?
I hinted in my last review how I was slightly disappointed with how the trailer hinted at some things that kind of annoyed me. That being it seemed like Bill and Ted were mostly getting replaced by their daughters, them being the ones to save the world with their music, not Bill and Ted.
And I can happily say… that’s actually exactly what happened. But the funny thing is, I found myself not caring this was how it turns out.
Maybe it’s because Bill and Ted are so much fun as characters, maybe it’s because the films have never been about a coherent plot that makes sense.
Maybe it’s because their daughters are just tiny versions of Bill and Ted, I don’t know. But in the end, it didn’t matter that Bill and Ted weren’t the foretold heroes.
The movie even makes it a point that it really doesn’t matter what the song is or who makes it. All that matters is bringing everyone together.
But before we get into that, let’s start at the beginning.
There’s a few ways this movie could have gone. And I get the feeling every idea the two writers ever had for a sequel was used here, as there’s about 5 different subplots.
But somehow, they managed to tie everything together.
We start out present day. Now if you don’t remember the end of Bogus Journey, Bill and Ted started in the past to learn how to play their instruments. They became superstars with a hit single, which they believed was the song to bring everyone together.
But that turned out to not be the case. So for years Bill and Ted released album after album, more disappointing after the other until the best they can do is perform in front of a handful of people.
I kind of love that plot. These two who clearly don’t have the talent, are told they are to become legends that change the world, but the weight of that burden has weighed on them for years, never hitting their promised potential.
Ted has slightly moved on, or at least is at the very end of his rope, while Bill is still hanging on, even wearing the same clothes from Bogus Journey.
Their latest gig is playing at Ted’s younger brother’s wedding, who just happens to be both their stepmom Missy. Now having divorced both their dads and has moved on to the little brother.
Okay, that sounds creepy when you think about it like that, but in the movie it’s actually pretty funny.
Having to still live up to their destiny, Bill and Ted perform their new song, which is this experimental… I don’t know what.
Worried this is having a strain on their marriage, Bill and Ted go to couples therapy. Together. With their wives. Who by the way if you remember are princesses from olden times.
They’re worried about their destiny to make the perfect song and how much it is weighing on them.
Wanting to talk to the wives alone, Bill and Ted leave therapy and head back home to hang out with their daughters, who are basically little versions of them.
They actually refer to them as dads, which is cute. They even live next to each other.
So the plot, well at least plot A we have the whole space and time starting to collapse because Bill and Ted have yet to make this great hit.
So we have several historical figures popping out of their time and into our present. Which also includes whole cities, even planets.
Rufus’ daughter from the future returns to the past to bring Bill and Ted back with her so the future leaders of the world can light a fire under their asses and get them to write that damn song already to save the universe.
But Bill and Ted can’t take the pressure, so they come up with the idea to jump ahead in the future to find their future selves to see if they have the song yet. Basically stealing from themselves.
That’s actually kind of a funny plot. Though the trailer kind of makes it seem like they are traveling through different dimensions, finding alternate versions of themselves… that actually I think sounds cooler.
But this actually works too, as each time they travel to find themselves their futures keep getting worse and worse.
When they first jump through time they find themselves playing tiny bars with no audience. Their wives have left them to go through time to find better versions of them. And apparently their daughters no longer talk to them.
And to make things worse, they still haven’t come up with the song that will save the world. Also Ted has started drinking.
So this now kickstarts two to three more subplots.
Plot B, once Bill and Ted steal the old phone booth time machine, the elder leader from the future sends out a kill robot to seek and destroy Bill and Ted, hoping that killing them is just as good as them making a song. I know, the logic sucks, but this is a Bill and Ted movie, you can’t think too hard about it or this house of cards tumbles over.
Plot C, the princesses go with their old future selves to travel through time to find better versions of Bill and Ted. This plot really could have been left at the wayside, since out of all the different plots going on, this really didn’t result in much of anything.
I mean, it does kickstart plot… I think we’re at D now, right? So on top of trying to steal the perfect song from themselves, Bill and Ted are also trying to save their marriages.
Now for plot E, Bill and Ted’s daughters Thea and Billie, played by Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine.
Samara Weaving you might be familiar with but Brigette Lundy-Paine I know from the Netflix series Atypical.
She was the best thing about that series until they changed the character and she became the worst thing about the series.
Anyway, they’re both great here as little Bill and Teds.
Their subplot centers around them wanting to help out their dads, borrowing a time machine and gathering great musicians throughout time to make up the perfect band, so when Bill and Ted get back with their song, they have a band to play with.
One of the highlights for me was the killer robot played by Anthony Carrigan, who was in the Gotham series and currently in Barry.
He’s hilarious as this kind of bumbling robot that accidentally keeps killing the wrong people. For some reason he decides his name is Dennis Caleb McCoy. And he loves telling people his name is Dennis Caleb McCoy.
He desperately wants to just be friends with Bill and Ted, basically filling the role of Death in Bogus Journey. Even though Death returns reprising his role.
If you don’t remember, Death actually joined their band Wyld Stallyns, but was kicked out once he sued them for the name and sent off on his solo career, creating albums with only bass.
They of course needed to bring Death back into the story, they do this by killing our main characters again, connecting our E plot and B plot with the killer robot.
But first, let’s go back to our A plot with Bill and Ted.
God, spelling out the plot to this movie is more confusing than the plot to Tenet.
So Bill and Ted jump ahead a few more years since being disappointed by their future selves. This time they find them living in a giant mansion.
They dress the part as aging rockers, top hats and tight latex and giant metal hair.
They bring Bill and Ted inside and hand them the song that will change the world. To their surprise, it’s great.
Unfortunately, this mansion isn’t theirs but Dave Grohls. Even the song their future selves gave them is a new Dave Grohl song.
Future Ted has developed a drinking problem and a giant pot belly. Bill on the other hand has lost all his hair.
Things have not turned out well for them since the last time we saw them. Now the police are outside, ready to arrest them.
Bill and Ted once again jump even further in time, where they run into their future selves once again, but this time they are in prison, covered in tattoos and have built massive muscles.
But still, they have yet to write that song to save the world.
While this is happening, Bill and Ted’s daughters are being murdered by the killbot sent from the future. What I like is that it’s always by accident. He always feels so bad about it afterwards.
So now Billie and Thea are in hell with the collection of famous musicians they’ve collected. Some of the musicians however are pretty weird. They went to like prehistoric times and find this caveman drummer? How’d they know about a caveman drummer?
I forgot, house of cards, I can’t think too hard or ask too many questions or this whole thing is going to fall a part.
Bill and Ted jump even further in time, now confronting their elderly selves as they lie in their death beds, however they finally have the song they’ve been seeking.
But a guilt ridden robot confesses all his accidental murders, so Bill and Ted destroy the USB with the song, forcing the now suicidal robot to kill them and send them to hell.
Bill and Ted have to make amends with Death to get everyone out of hell. Which isn’t too hard of a task as he’s pretty lonely down there, having to play tether ball with himself.
The group makes it out of hell, where they put on one last show, but realize it isn’t about them or the song that will bring everyone together, but just jamming together across space and time will fix things, so Bill and Ted along with their wives, travel throughout history, giving everyone instruments, so everyone can jam.
Typing it out, it makes no sense, but in the actual film… okay, even in the film it kind of doesn’t make sense. But this is a Bill and Ted movie, you didn’t come here looking for scientifically sound reasoning, did you?
If I could complain about one thing, it’s how the movie just ends. After they fix space and time, the movie just abruptly ends.
We do get a few after credit scenes, the big one being elderly Bill and Ted jamming down one last time.
Is Face the Music the cult classic the other films are? No. Not really, however it is a pretty good endcap for these characters.
They didn’t fuck them up like The Last of Us 2 did. They didn’t shit the bed like Dumb and Dumber too did.
It was a perfectly safe sequel. There’s nothing to really get upset about, aside for maybe the whole their daughters are the chosen ones thing, I can see people maybe getting upset about that like I initially was.
Alex Winter steals the show, he’s so fantastic that it makes you upset he doesn’t act anymore because he killed it.
Keanu was less than stellar, I think mostly because it’s hard to see him as the dumb guy like he used to be labeled as. Now he’s badass action guy.
I also get the feeling parts had to be slapped together or rushed, since Covid hit during production. It isn’t too noticeable but you can tell some scenes had to be reworked using ADR and maybe some greenscreen CGI backgrounds that looked wonky.
It can all be looked past I think. So for me, not a mind blowing sequel, but one that didn’t ruin the other films, so for that it gets at least a RENT IT.
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