A must-see during these hard times for everyone, for non stop smiles and laughs.
Comedy sequels are very hard to do and often damage the legacy of the originals – many have tried and failed to bring a comedy franchise new life and failed to live up to the hype. For this reason, I was equally as scared as I was excited when it was announced Bill and Ted were coming back to the big screen after twenty-nine years. Those movies have meant so much to me since I can remember and I knew it was a film I must see. I also had not seen any Dean Parisot films before this so was curious as to whether the film would live up to the previous two. When the lights went down at the cinema, it hit me that I was fortunate enough to see a Bill and Ted film on the big screen, having not been born when the other two were released. I felt an overriding sense of luck that this movie has been made, and I get the full experience.
The film opens with small clips from the previous two films which just builds up the nostalgia and excitement to see these two characters again, and when we do see them, it does not disappoint.
Admittedly, the film does pick up as it goes along -it starts off with some easily predictable laughs such as Bill and Ted’s daughters using their own lingo similar to their dads and some references to the previous films such as Missy marrying a relative of Bill and Ted. Whilst entertaining, it is when their daughters are shown as independent characters from Bill and Ted that the film really starts to impress when the references to the previous films are more subtle and smartly done, such as the one ‘Station!’ reference that will have the fans like myself oozing with joy and happiness.
The plot of the film is also incredibly hilarious, and in classic Bill and Ted fashion, you can’t help but have a smile on your face the entire time – even the scenes you’d imagine to be darker such as in Hell just have you beaming with light. The primary antagonist Dennis the robot even has you in stitches at points within the film.
There is a hilarious celebrity cameo at one point in the film which catches everyone off guard, but the return of Rufus is an incredibly emotional moment. In the original two, Rufus is sent back in time to guide Bill and Ted on their journey to success. Unfortunately, actor George Carlin passed away in 2008, and the role is irreplaceable. When taken back to the great ones to explain why the success Rufus predicted has not occurred yet, Bill and Ted pass the iconic phone booth with a hologram Rufus inside who steps outside and explains how this booth was the first one he used to help ‘The Great Ones.’ It is almost treated like a museum artefact, Rufus is no longer alive in the films but he lives on within this phone booth, telling anyone who passes it his story of helping Bill and Ted. This hologram with the epic music playing softly in the background creates powerful emotions of sadness, joy and hope that Bill and Ted do not disappoint Rufus because of all the faith he had placed in them.
My favourite character in the whole series did not disappoint upon his return either: The Grim Reaper truly does provide many laughs once again. William Sadler owns this role and when I thought he couldn’t be any funnier than in Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, he provides an abundance of laughs explaining his firing from Wyld Stallyns and his failing solo career. It is both hilarious and emotional when he rekindles his relationship with the two men who first defeated him in multiple games many years ago. Ted’s father also has a crucial role and provides once again a rather emotional moment when apologising to his son for not believing in him before. The amount of love throughout all the characters is truly what makes this movie unmissable.
My biggest fear coming into this movie was that Little Bill and Little Ted, or Billie and Thea would be identical copies of their dads. I could not have been more wrong. Yes, they use some of the same language, but they really have a life of their own and Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine really deliver as these quirky cool young women who have learned all the right ideals from their fathers. Their story of retrieving iconic musicians throughout history also provided great entertainment.
We live in a pretty bogus time in history, and one form of escapism for many people like myself is the cinema. With this in mind, Bill and Ted Face the Music is the best film to see to forget about these troubling times for ninety minutes. Whilst it is not a cinematic masterpiece, it knows its purpose is to put smiles on faces and send out simple but important messages such as living in the present, but most importantly and unforgettably ‘Be Excellent To Each Other.’ This is a motto which is as important now, as it was thirty-one years ago. Parisot did an outstanding job of creating an atmosphere full of love and jubilation. One must remember after seeing this film, it is not the song that unites the world, it is the love spread between everyone when creating it.