Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves reprise their roles as Bill and Ted respectively for the first time since 1991, as the Wyld Stallions frontmen – with a rogue’s gallery of historical musical figures in tow – set out to create a song with quality so good that it’ll remedy the impending end of the world.
Now I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise when I point out that this is far from the finest film to ever be created but I’d be wrong to not point out its incredible effectiveness as one ‘for a rainy day’ or a perfect piece of popcorn entertainment – on brand with its particularly wholesome and surprisingly emotional story, it’s one that’ll have some real poignant weight behind it for those who cherish either/both of the first two installments into what’s now become a cult adored trilogy.
Outlandish is the best I could describe it, and even still it feels like it doesn’t capture the extent of it. As surreal and ‘conceptual’ as its predecessors, Face the Music, impressively doesn’t crumble under its own weight as the size of the scale is obscene: from a futurist utopia to the fiery pits of hell, its visually quite impressive and is one that doesn’t try too hard to pull in either direction where both fan service and possible future installments are concerned – and that in itself is an anomaly amongst the reboot phenomenon, see for instance how classic franchises such as Terminator or Star Wars (though to a lesser extent) fumbled their revival efforts which simultaneously result is films that are a chore to get through, and that’s putting it kindly.
Back to the film in question though and I can honestly say that it plays to its strengths, a move which is likely the majority of the reason for its success. Strongest of all those features being its stars, especially its front men whose boyish charms haven’t faded a bit in thirty years since the previous installment. Bouncing off each other comedically, and simultaneously tasked with more dramatic duty than we’ve seen before, the core performances really give the rest of the cast a solid base to expand upon and underpin the whole somber, melancholic atmosphere that Face the Music projects.
I’ve sort of danced around it to this point, but the narrative is one of the most lasting I’ve recently seen. Now I’ve not yet concluded if finally getting a case of Lockdown Delirium was the reason for such response, but the film is incredibly emotionally blindsiding as a bit of extra, added flavour to its near laugh-a-minute script. Reuniting the band, creating their perfect song and passing the torch to their now-adult daughters; Thea and Billie, the film feels like a definitive, conclusive final chapter and one that has immense amounts of satisfactory pay-off.
A must-see for fans of the first two, and with enough charm to appeal to the ‘uninitiated’ – for lack of a better term – Bill and Ted Face the Music is a surprisingly warm note for the Wyld Stallions band to leave on and is one I frankly couldn’t recommend more.