Bill & Ted Face The Music

Bill & Ted Face the Music': Third Time's a Most Excellent Charm, Dude – Rolling Stone

Growing up, there were a handful of movies that I repeatedly came back to not only on my own, but with friends; Predator, T2, Wayne’s World, and the Bill And Ted series. Even in this age of any and all commodities, however barely remembered, being remade or franchised to further dilution, I never imagined I’d see a Bill & Ted sequel. Sure, we’d had the short lived animated series, and every few years we’d hear a rumour of a new script being proposed, but it seemed like the ship had sailed. No-one was interested in rock music any more, never mind movies about rock music, so why would anyone take a chance on releasing a movie which was barely marketable?

Yet here we are, decades later, with an older and somewhat wiser Bill and Ted tasked with saving the world, again. What’s more, the prophecies outlined in the previous movies didn’t really come to pass. Bill & Ted’s band had some success, but like most guitar bands of the era, they split up and are now seen has has-beens barely able to play in a bar to 20 people. They’re still married to their respective babes and they even have daughters, daughters who also aspire to being kick-ass musicians, but all is not rosy; there’s a chance their wives may leave and there’s a chance the world may end. Enter the daughter of Bill and Ted’s old pal Rufus, who takes the lads to the future where they learn that, if they don’t write the perfect song by that evening, all time and reality will collapse. Bad news. There is also a time-travelling Terminator robot sent to destroy them. Luckily, they have their own time machine to try to travel to potential futures to hear the song they haven’t written yet, while their daughters use another time machine to go back and recruit some of the greatest musicians of all time. It’s incredibly convoluted and seems ready to fall apart at any moment.

And yet, it works. It knows it’s silly and it leans into the ridiculousness of it all. It’s funny, it’s nostalgic, and most of the cast members from the originals return. It’s a bit of a shame that the music isn’t great and that they didn’t lean into how metal has changed in the years since the early 90s, but my overriding thought is that I was happy it even existed at all and that it isn’t crap. We still have plenty of modern bands and artists making an appearance, but the script is less interested in the name-dropping and culture surrounding the music. Reeves and Winter initially seem a little awkward in their roles, but this seems to shed over the course of the film and they eventually revel in it. The returning performers equally enjoy themselves, and most of the newcomers are fun too.

The film will likely be completely bewildering for any number of factors to anyone who has not seen the previous movies, but it was made for the fans and those fans should get plenty of enjoyment out of this belated sequel. Let us know what you think in the comments!

Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey

Bogus Journey

Two years on from the original and we are into the nineties. Grunge has taken over from hair metal, and some intelligence has been injected back into rock music. Therefore the antics of slackers Bill and Ted do not have the same impact as they had in their first movie. However, this is still a worthy sequel, and a funny movie.

In the future, the music of Bill and Ted has led to world peace, but a maniacal villain decides that if he can go back to before Bill and Ted were famous and kill them, he can change the future thus preventing their music from being heard. He creates two robot versions of Bill and Ted who quickly kill the humans and take over their lives. If the robots mess up the Battle of the Bands contest, the future will be sealed. Meanwhile Bill and Ted find themselves in Hell, their eternities going to be spent living a constant ironic punishment. This can be seen as a metaphor for the decisions youth must make- should we be forced to choose one path and follow it for the rest of our lives? Like the first film, the theme of choices, and what to do with your life is prominent here. Bill and Ted however realise the alternative- Defeat Deat at Chess, and return to the land of the living once more. This they do, and return to earth, via Heaven, to take back their lives, and save the world. Death comes along too.

The film has many moments of humour, lots of one liners and keeps the charm of the first outing. Yes it is all still very simple, with the message that music can heal the world being a little child-like and dated. However, if you read the message as being-music is escapism, freedom, then it works better than most other films. Reeves and Winter again are perfect for their roles, Death is excellent, and Rufus is as cool as always. As with the first film, it is not as stupid as it sounds, with many references to past works of art and literature mirrored beside modern works of music. An entertaining film whichever way you choose to look at it.

The DVD only has a trailer, but as with many others which cost a fiver, you can’t ask for more

As always, feel free to leave your comments- did you think this was better than the original?

Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure

A Most Excellent Adventure

Another great, innocent eighties teen movie about rock, hope, the future, the past, the present, babes etc. It may seem to send out the message that rock fans are dumb, these two are, but it is a comedy and wouldn’t work if they weren’t. The film is simply about friendship and trying to do something worthwhile in your life, that even a high school nobody can make a difference. Hardly original ideas, but given a totally excellent twist for the genre.

Bill and Ted are two typical high school losers from San Dimas. They love their rock music, dream of being in a band and meeting some radical babes. Reality states otherwise- that exams are approaching and if they fail, it’s off to military school. As they believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife, their prospects of passing their history final are not good. One night, hanging around the Circle K, they meet themselves-from the future, and a guy named Rufus. He tells them they must pass their exam or there will be grave consequences for the world. They must travel back in time to find historical figures to bring back for their exam, travelling in a phone booth of course. On the way they fall in love, meet many people and get into a few scrapes. Soon though, their historical figures run riot in a local mall and get arrested. Time is running out- but they have a time machine…

A silly idea, but very cleverly executed, and the result is much smarter than you might expect. Keanu and Alex are both excellent in their roles, and the rest of the cast are all very good. Special mention to Terry Camilleri who is very funny as Napolean. He gets some of the best lines-‘Le Glace?’ and ‘Idiot!’ amongst others. There are many one-liners, the film creating an inane language of its own which is both repeatable and harmless. The plot does fly all over the place, but it remains easy, and deals with the concept of time-travel much like Back to the Future did. There are many references which rock fans will get, modern audiences may not understand half the film now and will no doubt see it as extremely cheesy. The dialogue and fashion may have dated hideously, but so will all today’s teen shows and movies. This however retains charm over the years, and is still cool. There are many interesting ideas here, some very funny moments, and is more original than many would admit. Good solid entertainment, executed with a unique style. Not many extras on the DVD though.

As always, feel free to comment: What do you make of a young Keanu Reeves? Is this a guilty pleasure for you?