Bill & Ted’s part slacker, part surfer dude , part stoner but immensely likeable persona’s saw them whizzed through history in order to get their high school grades enabling their band ‘Wild Stallyns’ to save the world with one of their songs. An end of the world presumably orchestrated by Simon Cowell and his muddle headed minions on X Factor. Over thirty years later Bill and Ted Face the Music but now the duo are middle aged dad’s and unfortunately despite the pair of them having gone on to become a huge band they still haven’t come up with a decent song to unite the world…..again in many ways like every X factor winner. In fact lets be fair it’s probably Simon Cowell who has united the world in their derision of X Factor contestants wildly over ambitious plans to become platinum record selling artists whereas the truth the nearest they get actually selling metal is pots and pans on the market stall where most of them end up.
Fans of Bill & Ted have been waiting for the very long awaited sequel and Keanu and Alex return as do several others notably William Sadler as Death but alas no George Carlin as Rufus (except as a brief hologram) who passed away in 2008. Instead its the always good value Kristen Schaal as his daughter Kelly who returns to assign them with a mission. With failing marriages, their days of stadium filling rock gods has long gone and are now reduced to lounge band at all you can eat buffets having failed to write that record that saves the world. It’s exactly that failure that Kelly has come to make right as the end of the world is nearing. Now it’s time that Bill and Ted face the music and off they go again travelling around history in their telephone kiosk. But they are not the only ones with their music obsessive daughters Thea (Samara Weaving) and Billie (Brigette Lundy – Paine) also in on the quest to help their Dads write the tune that saves the world picking up Jimi Hendrix, Louis Armstrong and others along the way.
Running in parallel to this are Bill and Ted travelling parallel universes visiting themselves in time lines which sees the pair as hapless English accented rockers and another as massively muscled prisoners and the actors are clearly having huge fun in these vignettes with latex body suits as it all builds to the climactic moment as to whether they can write the tune that saves the world.
This third film has been a long time coming, in fact at 30 years it vies with the sequels to Blade Runner , Blues Brothers and even Psycho and it’s a bit uneven but there’s still plenty to enjoy here. The time travelling of the dads, the daughters and their wives especially adds little to the plot and it’s the wives who are regrettably underwritten but their daughters especially Lundy-Paine channels Keanu in full on ‘Whoa dude!’ extremely well. The first film had a whole load of historical characters in support and it’s a shame that more couldn’t be done with the musicians from history (No Elvis? No Beatles?) but perhaps there were image right issues ? Who knows and its does seem a missed opportunity ….although there is a decent blink and you miss it cameo by a modern day rock god. Bill & Ted Face the Music is as enjoyably daft as the two earlier films though with Keanu having taken decades to shake his dude persona its a surprise to see him reprise the role and of the three films this runs a close second to the original film.
Here’s the Bill and Ted Face the Music…….